§ (1.) This Act shall apply only to employment on, in, or about a railway, factory, mine, quarry, or engineering work, and to employment on, in, or about any building exceeding thirty feet in height, which is building constructed, demolished, or repaired by means of a scaffolding, or on which machinery driven by steam, water, or other mechanical power is being used for the purpose of the construction, demolition, or repair thereof.
(2.) In this Act—
Railway" means the railway of any railway company to which the Regulation of Railways Act 1873 applies, and "railway "and" railway company "have the same meaning as in that Act, and includes light railways made under the Light Railways Act 1896.
Factory" has the same meaning as in the Factory and Workshop Acts 1878 to 1891, and also includes any dock, wharf, quay, warehouse, machinery, or plant, to which any provision of the Factory Acts is applied by the Factory and Workshop Act 1895, and every laundry worked by steam, water, or other mechanical power.
Mine" means a mine to which the Coal Mines Regulation Act 1887, or the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act 1872 applies.
Quarry" means a quarry under the Quarries Act 1894.
Engineering work" means any work of construction or alteration of a railroad, harbour, dock, canal, or sewer, and includes any other work on which machinery driven by steam, water, or other mechanical power is used for the purpose of the construction or alteration thereof.
Employer" includes any body of persons corporate or unincorporate.
Workman" includes every person who is engaged in an employment to which this Act applies, whether by way of manual labour or otherwise, and whether his agreement is one of service or apprenticeship or otherwise, and is expressed or implied, is oral or in writing.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY moved in Sub-section (1), after the words "This Act shall apply only to employment," to insert the words "by the undertakers as hereinafter defined." He said that the object of the Amendment was to make it perfectly clear that the person liable to pay compensation was the person really employing the injured man.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY moved in Sub-section (1) after the words "employment on," to insert the word "or."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY moved to leave out the words "or about." He said that the Bill was not intended to apply to outworkers.
§ MR. ASQUITH
did not agree that the words would be sufficiently comprehensive amended as proposed, and classes of workmen would be excluded who should have the benefit of the Bill. For instance, taking the case of railway employés. Of those employed by railway companies a considerable number were those the main part of whose work was not carried on on the railway at all, or only for a certain comparatively limited number of hours, the men who were engaged in loading and unloading vans. This was an important class of railway servants and, moreover, they were engaged in a very hazardous occupation, and were just as liable to suffer injury in unloading-vans in a crowded street as in the comparatively greater seclusion and security of the railway goods depot. Under such circumstances it would be an entire novelty, it would be news to the working classes to know that this class would be 1401 entirely excluded from the Bill except as regarded the comparatively small number of hours they were employed on the premises of the company. He did not wish to argue on the logical consistency of the lines of obstruction drawn in the Bill, but he was quite sure that no man exposed to these risks could be convinced that he was not as fully entitled to compensation as the men engaged in shunting, or the porters whose work was to put passengers' luggage in a train. This was an illustration, and he might multiply such illustrations. Take another instance from the building trade. Very properly the Government had included building operations within the scope of the Bill, though he wished they had not included the limitations they had inserted. The words at present were "on, in, or about any building," and if the word "about" were left out a builder's workman would only be entitled to compensation if actually in or on the building itself. But a man might be employed on the ground immediately adjoining, and a very large proportion of accidents occurred to men in this situation from the fall of materials.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
reminded the right hon. Gentleman that there was a separate Amendment in regard to buildings which would come on later.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said he believed the Government were going to apply the same Amendment, but he only used the reference to building as an illustration of his argument. These were familiar and obvious cases, illustrating what would happen if the Amendment were adopted. This was not a matter to divide the two sides of the House, and he appealed to the Government, in the interest of the Bill, and crediting them with a desire to make it a large and comprehensive Measure, not to introduce a discrimination for which it was impossible to find any reason in justice, and which would produce a deep and widespread sense of injustice. He might add, in order to dispel the notion if it existed anywhere, that the liability under the Bill was too comprehensive, that by the language of the first clause the only responsibility imposed on the employer was in respect to accidents "arising out of and in the course of the employment." These were limiting words; it would have to be shown that the accident occurred within 1402 that area, and the area was sufficiently narrow. It was not the proper way to define the area and then further limit that area, as would be the result of this Amendment, rendering the Bill a. much less satisfactory and comprehensive Measure. He hoped the Home Secretary would reconsider his proposal.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
said this was rather in the nature of a drafting Amendment. It was not intended to narrow the scope of the Bill to the extent to which the right hon. Gentleman appeared to think it would. He was not particularly anxious for the Amendment, and would not press it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
said he gathered from the fact of railways being included in the industries enumerated, that the Bill was intended for the protection of all persons connected with the trade of carrying goods or passengers for inland transit. It teas impossible to distinguish on any principle of reason, between the transit of goods by railway and the transit of goods by water way. In both cases you deal with a department of trade connected with the carriage of goods or passengers, and in both cases you were dealing with a distinctly inland traffic, and you have the same class, of persons brought into contact with the goods. There was no reason why the protection extended to men employed in the railway transit should not be extended to the men employed in handling the goods covered by canals, rivers, and inland waters. Three tests the Home Secretary applied to the industries included in his Bill. First, that there should be a considerable degree of risk; secondly, the investment of a large amount of capital in the undertaking; and thirdly, facilities for insurance. Now, those who -were employed in the carriage of goods by canals and rivers were exposed to a. considerable degree of risk; the carriage of such goods was an undertaking in a few hands, and required the investment of large capital, and the risks could be easily covered by insurance. So, then, the argument for the inclusion of canal and river carrying trade within the scale of the Bill was considerably advanced. One objection he anticipated. It might be said that 1403 this was a branch of the shipping trade of the country; but that was an argument that would scarcely be used by any hon. Member familiar with the Merchant Shipping, and Navigation Acts. They applied to sea, faring vessels, and this purely inland branch of trade did not come within the provision of those Acts. The Amendment proposed a large concession, but it was a reasonable one, and would add largely to the popularity and acceptability of the Bill. He moved, in Sub-section (1), after the word "railway," to insert the words-or in or about any vessels ordinarily employed and whilst employed in the carriage of passengers or goods upon any inland waters.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
said notice of it was given if it was not moved. Of course, it was very easy, as he had admitted at the beginning of these discussions, to discover certain industries closely allied to those included in the Bill, as to which it was rather difficult to draw any logically clear line of distinction. But the definitions in the clause fairly met the necessities of the ease. The hon. and learned Gentleman asked that the Bill should apply to all the canals and rivers in the country, to all boats carrying goods or passengers, to all steamers on the Thames and other rivers, and all ferry-boats wherever they were to be found. It was a large extension, and he hoped the House would not insert it in the Bill. From the first it had been admitted that the Bill had only a limited application, though it applied to half the working population of the country, and he had hoped that, by the discussions in Committee as regards the industries included, they had settled the scope of the Bill. He trusted the House would not make further extensions.
§ *SIR FRANCIS POWELL (Wigan)
thought the Government were right in opposing this extension. Circumstances did not justify this inclusion. On inland waters the risk was not great, and the loss of life in the trade very small. A very large amount of the canal traffic was not conducted by the canal companies, but by small trades owning a few boats.
said the acceptance of the amendment would interfere with the Merchant Shipping Act. For example, vessels sailing from Glasgow to Manchester come under the scope of this Bill at one particular part of their voyage, namely, while passing along the Ship Canal, and so would vessels on passing Gravesend on their way to to the port London. This would lead to great mischief and confusion, and the Government were only fulfilling a pledge they gave to ship owners by declining to accept the Amendment.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
understood the Amendment would not apply to the vessels mentioned by the lion. Member, because these came under the definition of sea-going vessels. Now, a large part, if not the bnlk, of the canals were under the control of the railway companies, and it was a ridiculous thing that men working on one part of a railway company's undertaking should be able to claim compensation, while men engaged on another part of the same company's undertaking should be excluded.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said that whether the canals belonged to the railway companies or whether it was the fact that the largest and most important of the canals were independent concerns, however that might be, the Amendment was not going to place liability upon those great corporations, because those canal undertakings were simply toll-taking undertakings, and the vessels would ply, along their waterways, and in or about which accidents might happen, belonged in a great number of cases to independent owners.
§ MR. BURNS
thought the arguments of the hon. Member for Wigan were excellent arguments why the Amendment should be accepted. Where a man owned five or six monkey barges at work Ion a canal and called into his service a man and woman and sometimes two or three children to work the barge, and an accident befalls, he ought to be liable for the consequences. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock ought to know perfectly well there was no possible chance of the sea-going industry being included, having regard to the conditions would differentiate a barge and lighter from a sea-going vessel. If the Amendment 1405 were adopted, only one thing was necessary to prevent its being extended to merchant vessels which go to sea, and that was to add on the words, "all vessels the officers of which are granted certificates by the Board of Trade shall be exempted." He could not see why the Home Secretary should not accept the Amendment plus the words he suggested.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
pointed out that the Amendment proposed to apply the Bill to an entirely new kind of industry. Whatever cause there might be for extending the Bill to sea-going vessels, there was much less ground for applying it to vessels in inland waters. This inland water trade was an immense trade, and to apply the Bill to every barge and every boat on every river in the United Kingdom would probably be to bring in a class as large as all who were already brought within its sweep. [A laugh.] The point he wished to emphasise was, that this was a proposal to extend the Bill to an entirely new industry. The Government wished to restrict its scope. If in introducing a principle of this kind they were going to extend it to everybody there would be more to be said for the Bill, and still more if the liability was to be on the nation at large. ["Hear, hear!"] But it was impossible to suppose that this principle could he introduced into the Bill now. The Bill had been restricted to certain employers, upon those employers all the burden of the Bill would be thrown, and certainly, although he had always the greatest respect for Amendments moved by his hon. Friend opposite, he was afraid it would be impossible to vote for this one.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."—The House divided—Ayes, 80; Noes, 168.—(Division List, No. 284.)
§ On the return of Mr. SPEAKER after the usual interval,
§ MR. LIONEL HOLLAND (Tower Hamlets, Bow and Bromley) moved in Subsection (1), after the word "railway," to insert the words ''or tramway." He did not intend to raise a debate on the question of the inclusion of tramways. That question was debated on the Committee stage, and lie was not going 1406 to say anything further as to the general expediency of including tramways in this Act, except that it seemed to hint that as many of the tramways were owned by Municipal Authorities, and of the remainder the chief part were owned by substantial companies, they were in every sense undertakings which might be safely included. But the point lie wished to raise was an entirely different one. When he first read the Bill he thought it was the intention of the framers of the measure to include tramways. That intention was, of course, negatived; in fact, the Government refused to include them on the Committee stage. He doubted, however, whether as a matter of fact on the terms of the Bill as now drawn, tramways were not already included within the provisions of the Bill; and in this view he believed he was supported by a fair amount of Legal Opinion. A railway was defined in the Bill as the railway of any Railway Companies to which the Regulation of RailwaysAct,1873. A railway was to have the same meaning as in the Act of 1873, but when he looked at that Act he found no definition of railway at all. A railway company was defined as including any person being the owner or lessee of, or working, any railway in the United Kingdom, con strutted or carried on under the powers of any Act of Parliament. For the definition of a railway one had to hark back to the Railway Regulations Acts of 1868 and 1871, and there it was said, "a railway is the whole or any portion of a railway or tramway whether worked by steam or otherwise, which has been authorised by any special Act of Parliament or by any certificate under any Act of Parliament." From the point of view of law tramways were under the Railway Regulations Act, and were subject also to the control of the Railway Commissioners, although that control had not been exercised. His contention, therefore, was that it was probable that if the Bill did not specifically exclude tramways they were, as a matter of fact, included, and he submitted that tramways were eminently undertakings which could suitably he included in the provisions of the Bill. He begged to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "railway," to insert the words "or tramway."1407
§ MR. B. L. COHEN (Islington, E.)
supported the Amendment. While he appreciated the desire of the Government not to extend the operation of the Bill, he submitted to the Attorney General that there were no body of men more deserving of being brought under the Bill than the employés of tramways. They fulfilled almost every condition laid down by the Government which entitled men to compensation. Tramways were in few instances owned by small owners, and their working would become the more dangerous the more electric traction became developed. Almost every accident which befell a tramway employé was the result of his following his employment. Lastly, the accidents to which the men fell victims arose, in almost every instance, from circumstances beyond their control, and from risks which they incurred in the service and for the advantage of their employers. He, therefore, hoped the Government would see their way to accept this Amendment.
§ SIR A. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)
remarked that every day the use of mechanical power on tramways was increasing, and he could not see any difference between a tramway worked by such power and a railway. He therefore moved to amend the Amendment by substituting "including" for "or" and adding after tramway "worked by mechanical power."
§ *MR. SPEAKER
pointed out that the Debate might with advantage be taken upon the Amendment as it stood.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
admitted that there were no more deserving body of employés than tramway men. He could not, however, accept the Amendment, because if he agreed to this extension of the provisions of the Bill the Government would be bombarded with with all kinds of suggestions in the direction of extensions. Whether they were right or wrong they must adhere to the line they had laid down. It was not possible for him to accept the words "or tramways," and in order to save discussion he might say now that even if those words were carried he could not assent to the words "worked by mechanical power."
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
thought that all parties in the House were agreed that this extension might reasonably be 1408 made. He gladly supported the extension of the operation of the Bill to mechanical tramways, and between such tramways and light railways there was absolutely no distinction whatever. He regretted that the Attorney General, in a matter which did not affect a large number of men, but still a very deserving class, had not seen his way to accept the proposal.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. HARRY FOSTER (Suffolk, Lowestoft) moved in Sub-section (1), after the word "quarry" to insert the word "agricultural." He explained that the Amendments would admit agricultural labourers to the benefits of the measure. The strongest argument in favour of the proposition, which must commend itself to every Member of the House, was that the agricultural labourer of all classes of workmen was the least able by reason of the smallness of the wages he earned to provide against accidents. Admittedly the wages of an agricultural labourer was barely a living wage, and that being so the men had not the wherewithal to join a Provident Society. If it were possible to do it these men were entitled to inclusion. But it was objected to that this would have the effect of enlarging too much the scope of the Bill, that the Bill was an experiment, and if it was successful the time would then come for extending its scope. He thought that the answer to that was, that if included it would not add anything to the burden of the agriculturists according to the statement of the Home Secretary. If the Bill were to be an experimental one he respectfully asked the Government why agriculture should not be included in the experiment; he doubted whether the dangerous trades would give much instruction to the Government. He did not see how accidents in coal mines were going to afford much guidance as to what was going to happen in the agricultural districts. He had no desire to repeat the arguments used on former occasions, but he should not be doing his duty if he did not give the Government an opportunity of reconsidering, whether they would include the agricultural labourers within the scope of the Bill. He thought the agricultural labourer would be exceedingly 1409 grateful if lie were included. If he were excluded it would give some colour to statements made on the other side, that while the Government wished to guard certain classes of toilers and workers, they did not care to include the agricultural labourers.
§ MR. EDWARD MORTON (Devonport)
said when this proposal was last before the House it was argued that it would. bear hardly on small farmers; hut when the Government was passing last year an Act through that House to aid distressed agriculture, they were told that the benefit of that Act would go to the tenant-farmer. Now the benefit given to the farmer under that Act would reach four times the amount that would be necessary for him to expend in insuring all the agricultural labourers on his farm at the highest rate of insurance.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
expressed his regret that the Government had not included some great system of insurance.
§ MR. M. BIDDULPH (Herefordshire, Ross)
hoped if the Government could not include agriculture in this Bill, they would soon introduce another Bill to remove the exclusion.
§ MR. BROADHURST
said there was no class in the community that were more necessary to be protected than the agricultural labourers, and now the lion. Member came forward with his belated Amendment after the battle mad been twice fought over.
§ MR. BROADHURST
hoped, if the hon. Member were in earnest, he would take a Division. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. F. S. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
suggested that if the Government could not include all the agricultural labourers, they might at least make a compromise, and include those men employed on the large farms.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said he knew from experience that there were many small holders whose yearly earnings were not more than the wages of a superior labourer, and he was satisfied that there was no analogy between the agricultural industry and the great industries dealt with in the Bill. Agriculturists were in a different position 1410 altogether to railway companies, mine owners and factory owners, and he could not help thinking that any hon. Member who had had experience of rural life would agree that the conditions were altogether different. At this stage of the Bill the Government could not make any further concessions to the many claims that had been made for inclusion in the Bill, and they could not accept this Amendment.
§ MR. GEORGE LAMBERT (Devon, South Molton)
said the agricultural labourers were the worst paid in the whole community of labour. They had provident funds of their own, and were absolutely unable to lay up may money whereby to provide against accident. It was contended by the Government that the agricultural industry would not allow of an extra charge being put upon it; but the Government had not considered other industries from that point of view. They had put a charge upon them whether distressed or not. ["Hear, hear!"] In many cases of small holders, it would, no doubt, be impossible for them to pay down a lump sum, but he was inclined to think that the Government might very well carry out the suggestion made by the hon. Member for the Horncastle Division in Committee—that if a tenant farmer brought to his landlord the receipt of the premium for insurance against accidents to labourers, the landlord should pay the compensation or the farmer be entitled to deduct it from the rent. If compensation for injury were to be a tax on one industry why not on all, mid if it were to he a tax on the agricultural industry, why should it not fall on the landlords? ["Hear. hear!"] The Government had a chance of settling this matter now, and if they did not do so, it would be made the rallying cry in many agricultural constituencies.
§ MR. LAMBERT
said he did not wish to be drawn by the hon. and learned Gentleman —[laughter]— into an in-relevant interruption; but be thought that election was a very encouraging sign to hon. Gentlemen sitting on his side of the House. ["Hear, hear!"] They were told that agriculture could be dealt with in another Bill, but by the addition of one word to this Bill, the 1411 Government could settle the matter, and bring a very deserving class under the purview of the Bill. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. H. J. TENNANT (Berwickshire)
said he would be recognised as a strenuous supporter of the Bill, but he wished to plead earnestly for the inclusion of the agricultural labourer. In his constituency the farms were larger on the average than in any other Scotch constituency, and probably in any English constituency. He believed the average was about 230 acres. It stood to reason that in a farm of that size much machinery must be used, and from time to time many accidents had been brought to his notice. That morning he had received a letter from the Inspector of Factories asking him to move for a return of the accidents which had happened to agricultural labourers. In view of the very serious accidents which occurred almost constantly, it was of the utmost importance that the House and the country should realise that here was a great opportunity for the Government to give compensation for them; but the Government were afraid to extend what they maintained was to be a great boon to the working classes, to the largest class of labourers in the country. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. FREDERICK WILSON (Norfolk, Mid)
said that the House during the present week had emphasised the need of protection to agricultural labourers in a very remarkable way. Only on Tuesday last it had unanimously passed a modest measure—the Accidents from Chaff Cutters Bill, the object of which was to prevent injuries to agricultural labourers. On one day the House declared the need of agricultural labourers for protective legislation, on the next it was asked to declare that labourers should be excluded from the compensation given to coal miners and others. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. HARRY FOSTER
said that as the Government declined to make any further concession he would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. [Cries of "No, no!"]
§ Question put, "That the word Agricultural' be there inserted:" — The House divided:—Ayes, 90; Noes, 141.—[Division List, No. 285].1412
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY moved in Sub-section (1) after the word "employment," to insert the words "by the undertakers as hereinafter defined."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY moved in Sub-section (1) to leave out the word "exceeding," and to insert the words "which exceeds."
§ *MR. SPEAKER
said the hon. Member for Dumfries-shire had an. Amendment on this point on the. Paper, and he had better argue it now, as the adoption of the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment-would defeat the object of it, by affirming that there should be some limit of height.
§ MR. SOUTTAR
said that the Amendment which he had put down proposed to leave out the words "exceeding thirty feet in height." He contended that the words of the clause were ambiguous. Did the Government mean that buildings, when finished, should be of the height of 30 feet, or intend that no compensation should be claimed by any workman unless he was working on a building which had reached the height of 30 feet? It had been said that small builders would be excluded from the Bill by the stipulation. Small builders were not people who built small houses, but who took sub-contracts on other people's buildings, and did jobbing work generally. The inclusion of the words he wished to omit would not help small builders, but would injure workmen employed by big builders. When workmen were employed on a building 30 feet 6 inches in height their lives and limbs would be at the risk of the insurance company, but when engaged on a building only 29 feet 6 inches or 30 feet in height their lives and limbs would be at their own peril. The insurance companies only would benefit by the clause. They would draft their policies precisely on the lines of the Bill, and fight everything which did not seem to be within the four corners of it. The consequences would be that in many cases working men in the country would be uninsured whether their employers were little builders or big builders. There was after larger percentage of accidents in the country than in towns because there was, 1413 less supervision. The more general the Act was in its application the more smoothly it would work. ["Hear, hear!"
§ MR. RENSHAW
said he believed the result of leaving out these limiting words would be to drive the jobbing builders to the great cities. It was because he believed that if they did not take some steps to preserve the position at present occupied by comparatively small builders in the rural parts of the country that he hoped the Government would keep these limiting words in the Bill. He regarded them as of the greatest possible importance.
§ MR. BURNS
said the only interpretation which could be put upon the speech of the hon. Member for Renfrew was that the building trade in the country districts was maintained simply because the builders now had an opportunity of injuring their workmen—[cries of "Oh!"]—and subjecting them to a condition of industry that was not allowed in the large towns. The limit of 30ft. would exclude nearly all the dock sheds that were erected in the large towns, nearly all the railway sheds, many market buildings, and other large sheds and warehouses. It seemed ridiculous that they should exclude buildings of 30ft. in height, and say nothing about buildings 30ft. in depth. He could not understand why the Government had fixed this limit. The Government wanted to restrict the Bill as much as possible, and this arbitrary limit could not be defended.
§ MR. J. SAMUEL (Stockton)
thought they ought to have some answer from t he Government. The small builders were more or less jobbing men. He pointed out that in the north of England the bulk of the two-storey houses were only 30ft. high. He thought it a great hardship that bricklayers, joiners, and others engaged on houses 30ft. high should be excluded front the provisions of the Bill. He thought the exclusion would give very great dissatisfaction.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
said it would be within the recollection of the House that when the Bill passed through Committee there was an addition made in respect of buildings, and the Bill in its present form was therefore larger in its scope than when it was introduced into the House. ["Hear, hear!"] The Government assented to the addition of buildings with this limitation of 30ft., 1414 which was well known under the Factory Act of 1895. They did not say that it was altogether a logical definition, but what they said was that in applying this Act to various trades they were taking the already established definition. If they were continually pressed to extend the Bill in further directions they could only answer that they really could not consent to do it. They quite admitted that the Bill was not in the shape which legislation affecting this subject would ultimately take, and that all the trades which would ultimately come in were not yet included.
§ MR. BUXTON
said he was afraid that as the Bill now stood in regard to this matter it would certainly lead to a great deal of litigation. There was no logical difference between the right of a man to compensation when lie fell off a scaffolding 30ft. high and when he fell off a scaffolding 29ft. high. The question would arise also at It particular moment when a building was being constructed or demolished as to whether compensation was due. There were many cases in which it would be almost impossible to say what was the height of a scaffolding. Moreover, the scaffolding at one side of a-building might be of a different height from the scaffolding on the other side.
§ MR. WILLIAM BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said that probably the Home Secretary would remember that this was a point which in Committee the Government promised they would consider on the Report stage. No doubt the Government had taken -the line of least resistance in getting the Bill through, but it seemed to hint that this was one of the cases in which the action taken by the Government was not altogther happy. He did not advocate the extension of the Bill. It was of small importance how large or how narrow the boundaries of the Bill were when if left the House, for the Bill was to a certain extent experimental. It was intended to apply a new principle to certain definite trades, and all the House was concerned with was that the experiment should be a definite and fair one. But lie thought the line that was drawn ill this case was about the shadowiest and most nebulous that could be drawn, and it was certain to lead to a tremendous amount of dispute and discussion in the Law Courts.
§ MR. BROADHURST
said it was due to the Home Secretary to hear witness to the very handsome manner in which he had redeemed his pledge in Committee. He had an Amendment down to include within the Bill all branches of the building trade. The Home Secretary said it was impossible for the Government to accept that Amendment, but that if it were withdrawn he would undertake to bring in an Amendment that would go some distance towards meeting the case submitted. The right hon. Gentleman gave rather more than he had promised, and he remembered that the whole Committee was well satisfied. [Cries of"No!"] Then he would say a great number of the Committee were well satisfied with the Amendment inserted by the right hon. Gentleman. The Government had admitted that the line they had drawn in the present case was most anomalous, and they only justified it by the fact that it was the language used by the late Home Secretary's Act of 1895. But under that Act there had been many difficulties; and, indeed, divergencies and differences of opinion must occur until they made a clean sweep of the whole of the exceptions which were made in this Bill, and provided that compensation should be paid to all and everyone injured in the course of employment.
§ MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
did not think the line drawn was quite satisfactory. The real distinction ought to be, not as to the height of the building at the time of the accident, but the final height of the building as it was intended to be.
§ *MR. A. D. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars)
observed that the building trade was included within the scope of the Bill because it was a dangerous trade, but the most dangerous part of that trade would be excluded by the language of the clause. For instance, it provided that the Bill should only apply to buildings 30ft. in height while being constructed or demolished if scaffolding were made use of. But there were few cases of demolition where scaffolding was used at all. It was one of the most dangerous branches of the building trade, in which many accidents occurred, and yet a. pan injured in such work would by this Bill be excluded from any compensation what- 1416 ever, no matter how high the building was. The Home Secretary had told them that this 30ft. limit had been taken from the Factory Act of 1895. But the Factory Act had nothing to do with the demolition of buildings at all, so that there was no possible connection between the two cases no therefore suggested to the right lion. Gentleman that he must make some change in this clause to meet the case of the demolition of structures, otherwise the Bill would apply to the least dangerous part of the building trade and not to the most dangerous part, although the building trade itself had been included because it was dangerous. If the clause were not altered and made fixed and definite, it would lead to that very litigation which they were all desirous to avoid, and that, too, to an extent it was impossible at present to conceive. He hoped the Home Secretary would make some change in the direction suggested, but, if not, then he trusted the hon. Member for Dumfriesshire would go to a Division on his Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words which exceeds' be there inserted."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 176; Noes, 111.—(Division List, No. 286.)
§ Amendment made: In Sub-section (1) leave out the word "which," and insert the word "and."—(Sir Matthew White Ridley.)
§ MR. TENNANT moved, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "repaired by means of a scaffolding." The Amendment was not an extension of the Bill because the Government were kind enough in Committee to accept the words he moved, "demolish," and, later, "demolition." He was informed that in the demolition of buildings scaffolding was very rarely employed. He understood that when the Government accepted the words "demolish" and "demolition" they really meant the Amendment to be effective, and, therefore, in the interests of the Bill, he maintained that the Government should accept the Amendment.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, whatever might be the view as to the use of scaffolding in demolition works, it would be quite impossible to leave out the words as they stood, for, as the 1417 construction of the clause stood, they governed, not only demolition, but repairs also. He would not say but if in another place an endeavour should be made to make a special exception in reference to demolishing, something might be said in favour of it.
§ MR. TENNANT
said if the Home Secretary would give some undertaking that in another place the word "demolished" should be transposed, and come in after the word "scaffolding," or in some way the object should be effected, he would withdraw his Amendment.
§ MR. BURNS
appealed to the Government not to reject this very sensible Amendment. As the clause stood, it would almost exclude the work of demolition from the Bill, and the workmen who were technically known as "housebreakers"—not those whose nocturnal occupations excite the interest of the dice, Init the men who were engaged in pulling down buildings—would laugh at the idea of using scaffolding. If, for instance, workmen were engaged in pulling down a shot tower, their work would be more dangerous if they used scaffolding than if they dispensed with it. There was no reason why house-breakers should not have the benefit of the Bill, and such compensation in case of injury as it offered. If the suggestion of the hon. Member were accepted, there was no reason why "demolishing" should not be defined in a way to remove the objection indicated by means of Amendment in another place.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
said these words were added to please hon. Gentlemen opposite. It appeared now that the position of the words "by means of a scaffolding," made the clause unsatisfactory, and though he could not undertake to accept the exact proposal now made, the point raised was well worthy of consideration, and he would undertake that that consideration should be given to it.
§ MR. TENNANT
said after what had fallen from the Home Secretary he would ask leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ SIR A. FORWOOD
said he should occupy the attention of the House but a few moments in moving the 1418 insertion of the proviso of which he had given notice. Both sides of the House had expressed satisfaction with the general principle of the Bill; in fact, so strong had been the feeling of the House expressed on behalf of the Bill that a long time had been occupied at each stage in preventing contracting out of the Bill by workmen. The object of his proposal was to enable employers, if they wished to do so, to contract themselves into the Act, giving their workmen the benefits it conferred. There were many employments in the country, many descriptions of work, comparatively non-dangerous iii character, insurance in respect to which would be very small in amount, and lie was satisfied that many employers would be willing to protect themselves by the small cost of insurance and give their men the benefit of the provisions of the Act. He therefore hoped the Government would allow the insertion of this proviso to enable employers to apply the Act to their trade should they think fit to do so by agreement with their men. He proposed, at the end of Subsection (1), to insert,—Provided that it shall be lawful for any employer engaged in an employment to which this Act does not apply to elect that it shall thenceforward apply to the workman in his employment in the same manner as if it had been expressly made applicable thereto, but no right to damages which may have accrued to any-workman before such election has been made shall be in any way affected thereby. Such election on the part of any employer shall be signified by contract in writing, signed by the employer, or an agent on his behalf, and the workmen, or by notice kept constantly affixed in such place or places open to the workmen, and in such position that it may be easily seen and read, and copied by any workman affected thereby. Such election shall also be forthwith notified by the employer to the Registrar of Friendly Societies. When once an election has been made under this provision it shall not be revocable without the consent in writing of the workmen affected thereby and with the approval of the said Registrar.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
hoped his right hon. Friend would not put the House to the trouble of dividing on his proposal after an explanation which he hoped would be sufficient. So far as the substance of the Amendment was concerned, enabling masters and men by agreement to come under the terms of the Act, there was no difficulty about it. Employers could do this at once. No 1419 objection could be raised; if workmen thought it would be advantageous to them there would be no legal objection to the parties agreeing for the purpose. Therefore, so far as the substance of the matter was concerned, and if employer and workmen agreed, as was contemplated by his right hon. Friend's Amendment, such a contract might be signed and carried out. Then the Amendment went on to impose restrictions which would not be in the interest of the parties, putting difficulties in the way of making other arrangements which both sides might consider desirable. Although it was, of course, desirable that employers and workmen should be induced to agree upon the terms in the Bill, this proviso was not required for the purpose, and the restrictions would be harmful to the object in view.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (2), after the word "applies," to insert the words "and includes a light railway made under the Light Railways Act 1896." To leave out the words "that Act, and include light railways made under the Light Railways Act, 1896," and to insert the words "the said Acts of 1873 and 1896."—(Sir Matthew White Ridley.)
*MR. J. A: PEASE (Northumberland, Tyneside) moved, in Sub-section (2), after the words "mechanical power," to insert the words,—
and every shipbuilding yard, whether or not such shipbuilding yard is one wherein or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which steam, water, or other mechanical power is used, and vessels under construction or repair, and any other employment in which iron or steel plates, bars, or girders are fixed or riveted.
This Amendment was one which in discussion on Committee stage the Government undertook to consider. It was not outside the principle of the Bill, it was not an extension to other industries, but it would enable all the men engaged upon work connected with a shipbuilding yard to be brought under the provisions of the Bill. The Amendment included
those workmen who, owing to a technical definition in the Factory Act of 1878, would be excluded, but who worked in an industry which it was proposed should be covered by the provisions of the Bill. At the present moment, owing to a definition in the Factory Acts, any man engaged in a shipyard in which there was no mechanical power employed would be excluded, and his object was that all those who were engaged in the selected industries which the Government had brought within the scope of the Bill, wheresoever they might work, might be included. As the Bill stood, in the case of any vessel which was launched or came into a waterway to be repaired, all the workmen who were taken out of the yard and placed in the vessel would no longer come under the provisions of the Bill; and, again, any men who were moved from the yard to follow their employment in riveting or plating on land outside a yard which was defined as a factory would similarly be exempted. This question affected an enormous number of Wien. The Bill affected thousands of men. There were 108 shipyards in the country. In 1891, when the tonnage was not nearly what it was now, the shipwrights numbered 62,717, and to-day we were building at the rate of 1,400,000 tons a year, or 80 per cent. of the tonnage of the world. The men in the Boilermakers and Iron Shipbuilders' Association, mainly platers and riveters, numbered 41,000. The unskilled labourers and apprentices engaged in the shipyards numbered 45,100. Besides these classes there were thousands of joiners, riggers, framers, and engineers. Many of these would be exempted more than half their time if the Amendment was rejected. The different classes of labour employed in and about a ship would be one day apparently under the Bill, and the next day they would be excluded, because they happened to be working where there was no machinery or in a water-way. How easy it would be for an employer to escape the liabilities of this Bill ! He had only to concentrate his machinery in one yard, have a roadway separating the place where the machinery was situated from that where the ship was being built, and he could evade the Bill. Most riveting was done by hand. It was quite easy for an employer to purchase his material ready to be placed on the vessel, and as soon as
the man crossed the road from having bored the plates with machinery and went to rivet the plates on the hull he would no longer be within the Bill. A. vessel's hull might be constructed, and the frame then launched, or a vessel requiring reconstruction or repair might be brought into a dry dock, and the men employed in the work would never come under the Bill at all. Again, in many cognate industries, such as in boiler work, where exactly the same kind of work was performed, in bridge-work, gasometers, caissons, and pontoons, the same individual was engaged. He had to follow his employment from works in which machinery was situated: he left a less hazardous employment where he could obtain compensation, and went to a more hazardous situation, where he would receive no compensation. The moment he was sent out to erect a gasometer in a gas works he was no longer compensated. Take as an illustration the man who injured his finger when temporarily riveting a gasometer plate in a yard would receive compensation, the man who smashed his hand in permanently fixing the plate when erecting the gasometer in the gasworks would receive nothing. If a loan was engaged in building a caisson in order to support a bridge to span a river, whilst preparing the work where there was machinery He was compensated, but the moment he had to undertake his difficult and hazardous calling in connection with the permanent erection of the caisson to support the bridge he no longer received compensation in the case of an accident. The Bill aimed at including the most hazardous occupations, but the most hazardous portions of the platers' work, conducted often outside yards where there was mechanical power, prevented compensation being paid. The labourers were divided into two Classes: "helpers," and "general labourers." The former numbered 12,000, and being on piece work they were often driven hard by the platers, and every year had to carry heavier materials, thus their work tended to become more dangerous. The number of accidents met with by these men averaged 1581 per cent. a year. The Labourers on a railway line, included in the Bill, only 77 met with accidents: therefore, these labourers had an occupation 16 times more hazardous than those
on railways. In the Boiler and Iron Shipbuilders' Association 80' were on the funds after having received two years' sick pay, the average amount of sick pay being £24,700 per year. Three per cent of these men were on sick pay; this percentage was greater than almost any other class of labour, greater than even ironfounders, who had to manipulate hot metal. The work of riggers obviously was not only hazardous but the nature of the injury was most serious. The number of days each rigger was off work averaged 42, as against 9'8 in ironworks, where hot metal was worked, and 24 in the building trades. The attitude of the Government, if they resisted this Amendment, would not only be illogical and unjust, but inexpedient, for the same man would be treated differently meeting with the same accident but in different places. Such an injustice would be a fruitful source of friction and litigation between employers and employed. Some employer might even arrange their yards and apportion their work with an eye to evade liability. He believed that although the Colonial Secretary had said in 1892:—
The recognition of the universality of the right to compensation would lie impossible, as well as unjust, to throw the burden invariably and exclusively upon the employer.
Yet the employer would sooner this injustice were done hint than that he should not know what his liability was as between his employés. He appealed to the Government to accept the Amendment, as it in no sense was an extension of the principle, but would be only a mere act of justice to the men engaged in the shipbuilding industry.
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
said the hon. Gentleman opposite had shown to the House, what they all probably knew, that there were, outside the actual operations of a shipbuilding yard, which was included in flue Factory Acts, men engaged in almost identically the same work who were not technically at that moment factory hands, but who were just its liable to accident as some of those who would come under the protection of the Bill. He admitted all that, but, at the same time, he was not prepared to admit that he was either illogical or unjust if lie declined to accept the Amendment. They had taken their stand upon 1423 the definition of these industries as laid down in the well-known Factory Acts, and if they were to begin, either in the direction of shipbuilding yards or other kinds of factories, to take individual and particular instances where, by the custom of the trade, similar work was done outside those factories, they would land themselves in endless discussions and be opening out a field which would surprise some of those who at the present moment had not found themselves included in the provisions of the Bill. He was quite ready to admit a very great deal of what his hon. Friend opposite said, and it might be illogical to refuse to compensate those whose case he had brought forward. But, for his own part, he thought the most logical, as well as the most just, position was to say that they had taken a wide range in that they had included all those industries which were defined by the Factory Acts to be factories, and that that was a limit to which they ought to adhere. He must, therefore, decline to accept the Amendment.
§ *MR. J. WILSON (Lanark, Govan)
wished to say he represented a constituency who were largely engaged in shipbuilding and engineering, and thought his hon. Friend the Member for Tyneside, had put his case very fairly before the Committee. There was no doubt whatever that the men who were working in these engineering shops and shipbuilding yards and who were called upon to go outside—perhaps into a dry dock or into mid stream—for the purpose of completing their work of fitting out a vessel should be within the purview of the Bill. An accident which. took place on the Clyde some time ago would illustrate the hardship which would be inflicted upon these men if the Amendment were not accepted. On that occasion a vessel was launched on which were a number of men who lied been engaged in the yard in her construction and who were required to be on board for the purpose of completing her. The vessel capsized, and yet the dependants of these men, who were huried into eternity, would not have received the benefits of the Bill. [Laughter.] He hoped the Government would take this matter into their serious consideration, and see whether they could not embrace within the purview of the Bill those workmen who were required to go outside their 1424 shops or yards to complete the work upon which they were engaged.
§ COLONEL DENNY
, speaking as a shipbuilder, said he agreed with his hon. Friend who moved the Amendment. He knew it was very difficult for the Government to deal with this matter without bringing in other cases, but he should be prepared to sacrifice a great deal before he would consent to do what would be a manifest injustice. In shipbuilding work it was not possible to differentiate between the men who were engaged inside the yard or shop and those engaged outside, because they were identically the same men and engaged on identically the same work. ["Hear, hear!"] Yet, according to the definition laid down by the Home Secretary, the men engaged outside the yard would not come within the operations of the Bill. He did not believe that any shipbuilder would wish to differentiate between the men in this way. ["Hear, hear!"] He knew it was not advisable to delay the progress of the Bill, but there was another place where this Amendment might be inserted, so as to prevent an invidious distinction being drawn between the saw e men when working inside the yard and when doing the same kind of work for the same employer outside the yard.
§ MR. MORTON
expressed disappointment at the action of the Government in refusing this Amendment. The late Home Secretary was, he believed, the first Minister to include Government employés in a Bill of this kind, and he was glad that the present Home Secretary had followed his right lion Friend's example. If an Amendment similar to tins were not accepted by the Government, a large part of the advantage resulting from the inclusion of Government employés within the scope of the Bill would be lost. There was an enormous quantity of most dangerous dockyard work done in vessels afloat, while there were diving operations in connection with vessels in the process of being constructed or mended. These cases would be excluded under the terms of the Bill unless this Amendment was accepted; and he hoped that in another place, if not now, the Government might see their way to give effect to the Amendment.
§ MR. G. W. WOLFF (Belfast, E.)
agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for 1425 Kilmarnock Burghs that there was absolutely no reason why men should be compensated for an accident inside a work and not compensated for an accident outside the same work. Speaking, he believed, for all the shipbuilders in the House, they were entirely of the same opinion. [Opposition. cheers.] Was a man employed in a shipbuilding yard 01:, side the regular yard in a different position with regard to the Bill than the sailor or agricultural labourer? Was it possible to include in the Bill shipbuilding hands outside the yards without including all those trades now left out? He believed that whatever trades were left out of the Rill now must be included before another year passed; and this was the reason why he could not vote for the Amendment. But in justice and logic there was no reason why a man should be compensated for an accident inside a work while another man belong-to the same yard should not he compensated for an accident in connection with work outside. He should like to have a pledge from the Government that they would amend the Bill in another place. [Cries of "Now!"]
§ MR. W. ALLAN (Gateshead)
said that the plea of the Home Secretary was illogical. The definition of "factory" in the Bill included "any dock," and a man, therefore, working in a dock was to be compensated. Suppose some men in a shipyard were sent to work in a dock to repair a vessel. They did the same kind of work as they did in a shipyard. Were these men to be exempted from the operations of the Bill when the men working in the yard were to come within its operation?
§ MR. BURNS
remarked that not only representatives of the workmen, lint generous-hearted employers of labour who knew the technical illogicality of this Bill had offered to conic within the purview of the Bill if Government would only consent. If, therefore, the Amendment were resisted in the House Of Lords—and he could conceive Lord Londonderry resisting it if he were a shipbuilder—the Government could put up their man and tell him that the Amendment was pressed and forced upon them not alone in the interest of labour, but also in the interest of the just and equitable working of a Bill which had fur its object not only the compensation 1426 of the workmen, but —where contracting-out schemes prevailed—the harmonious carrying out of those schemes. It was most creditable to some of the largest shipbuilders that they insisted on the Government accepting an Amendment whose rejection would cause many employers, and certainly all workmen, to regret it, and he hoped the House of Lords would allow it to pass in order to make the as humane, as consistent, and as logical as it might be. It would be still better if the Government would save them the trouble of running the gauntlet of the House of Lords, where so many innocents had been killed. [Laughter and "Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. PARKER SMITH
hoped the Government would favourably consider the Amendment. As connected with one of the largest shipbuilding establishments in the country, it seemed to him entirely impossible to draw any line between ships in course of construction, whether in the yard or afloat outside. One half of the work was done on shore; then the vessel was launched, and exactly the same kind of work continued to be done on her, either lying in the dock or in the fairway of the river, and the same men were engaged in doing the same kind of work. How could they reasonably draw the line aid say that in case of an accident before launching, or while the ship was lying in a dock which happened to be within the yard, the case came under the but that if the accident happened outside the yard while the ship was lying in the river, then there was no liability at all? ["Hear, hear!"] It was rather curious to note the way in which a ship had been considered, or rather had not been considered. It seemed to come somewhat under the head of an engineering work, no doubt; but he thought ships were sufficiently important to be treated by themselves, and lie hoped the Government might devise some principle similar to what they had adopted in the case of buildings. They had taken a line including buildings over a certain size; and he thought they might draw the line so as to include all ships in the course of construction if over a certain size. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
said it was impossible for the 1427 Government to ignore the fact that four Members, personally concerned in the shipbuilding interest, had successively risen to express their strong desire that the Amendment should be accepted. ["Hear, hear!"] Of course, they had never denied, on the contrary, they had admitted over and over again, that it was difficult to justify the distinction drawn in the Bill between one industry and another. But if that were to be a conclusive argument, the Bill ought to have been rejected long ago. The Government had felt that some line must be drawn, and the inevitable effect of that was that cases would fall on either side of the line which it was very difficult to distinguish on principle. ["Hear, hear?"] But there did seem to be this peculiarity in the present case—a peculiarity which perhaps could be matched in other instances, but which hardly existed to the same degree—namely, that it was the same individual occupied on precisely the same work, under the same master, and on the same piece of goods, who on one day or week came under the Bill and the next day or week did not come under the Bill. He admitted that was a peculiarity which deserved careful consideration. ["Hear, hear!"] He thought, however, that they would be ill-advised if they attempted to deal with the difficulty now; and although he was giving no specific promise as to what they might be able to do on another occasion in another place, if the House would so far repose confidence in the Government as to trust them, at all events with a desire to do their best in the matter, perhaps the subject might now be left in their hands. He hoped that after this indication of the views, or of the provisional views of the Government, the hon. Member opposite would be prepared to withdraw his Amendment. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. VICARY GIBBS (Herts, St. Albans)
asked if Government intended to do their best to include not only shipbuilding yards mentioned in the first part of the Amendment, but other employments mentioned in the second part, in which iron and steel plates and girders were used. If the latter were to be included, there was no reason why all sorts of trades should not also come in.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
said, of course it must be distinctly understood that no Amendment which the Government would willingly accept would greatly extend the lines of the Bill as already laid down. The whole of the argument for the Amendment went on the hypothesis that there were certain marks differentiating this case from other cases. If, on examination, that appeared to be the case, and that those marks could be made the basis of a statutory distinction in the Bill, then it was a point with which the Government might deal. But they did not intend to give any great extension to the general scope of the Measure as already laid down.
*MR. J. A. PEASE
said that after the pledge of the right hon. Gentleman which he understood to be that the object of the Amendment would receive favourable consideration in another place by the Government, he would ask leave on that understanding to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
MR. HARRY SAMUEL (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse) moved in Subsection (2), after the words "or other mechanical power," to insert the words—
Notwithstanding anything in this Act to the contrary, the word dock,' for the purpose of this Act, shall be held to include any place where ships are loaded or unloaded.
He said that many men were engaged in loading and unloading vessels in other places than docks, wharves, and quays—in streams, for instance, where the vessel was not stationary, and the machinery used was not so applicable to the work. He hoped the Government would extend the protection of the Bill to these men. He would accept any modification which the Government desired.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said that this Amendment was an object-lesson of the difficulties caused by attempting to extend the Bill in any direction. The principle of the Amendment was that wherever a ship was loaded or unloaded the workmen were to be brought under the Bill. The Government could not accept such a wide Amendment, and he feared that it would be impossible to meet the hon. Member half way.
§ MR. BUXTON
said that all the arguments which the First Lord of the Treasury had admitted with respect to the last Amendment practically applied to this also. When a ship was attached to the quay the men engaged in unloading her were to come under the Bill, when the ship was moored in mid-stream they were not—though the same men, the same work, and the same employer were concerned in both cases. The only reason why they were not included in the Act of 1895 was that there was no time just before the General Election when by general assent the Bill was agreed to. He hoped that the Government, having met very fairly the last Amendment, would see their way to deal with this Amendment which was on all fours with the former.
§ MR. J. SAMUEL
said the ships in deep water berths were moved, loaded and unloaded by the same Wino who should come under the Bill—that was to say the men employed on the wharves. These men from the wharves were taken away to unload these ships, and while doing so, under the same employers, they would not come under the provisions of this Bill. He hoped that the Government would see their way to include them.
§ *SIR J. FERGUSSON
said that it was pointed out in the Grand Committee on which he sat that it would he impossible to draw the line between a ship in midstream and elsewhere.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 105; Noes, 177.—(Division List, No. 287.)
Amendments made: Sub-section (2) after the word "alteration," insert the words "for repair." Leave out the word "on," and insert the words "for the construction, alteration, or repair of." Leave out the words "for the purpose of the construction or alteration thereof" and after the words "is used" to insert—
'Undertakers' in the case of a railway means the railway company; in the ease of a factory, quarry, or laundry means the occupier thereof within the meaning of flu Factory and
Workshop Acts, 1873 to 1895; in the case of a mine means the owner thereof within the meaning of The Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1857, or the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act, 1872, as the case may be; and in the case of an engineering work means the person undertaking the construction, alteration, or repair; and in the case of a building means the persons undertaking the construction, alteration, or repair.
After the word "unincorporate," insect the words "and the legal personal representative of a deceased employer."
At the end of Sub-section (2) to add:
Any reference to a workout, who has been injured shall, where, the workman is dead, include a reference to his legal pars anal representative or to his dependants, or other person to whom compensation is payable."—(Sir Matthew White Ridley.)
*SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY moved, at the end of the clause, to insert the words,—
'Dependants' means—(a) In England and Ireland, such members of the workman's family specified in the Fatal Accidents Act 1846 as acre wholly or in part dependant upon the earnings of the workman at the time of, or immediately prior to, has death; and (b) in Scotland, such of the persons entitled according to the law of Scotland to sue the employer for damages or scotland in respect of the death of the workman as were wholly or in part dependant upon the earnings of the workman at the time of, or immediately prior to, his death.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. E. H. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
said that he understood this would ha the proper time to move an Amendment which stood in his name, namely: Leave out the words "members of the workman's family specified in the Fatal Accidents Act, 1846," and insertpersons, being the wife, husband, parent, grandparent, stepfather, stepmother, child, grandchild, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, or sister of the workman.The hon. Member said that the practical effect of the Amendment was to include a brother or sister among the dependants for whom the Bill made provision. In many cases where the father or mother had been removed by death the brother or sister became the bread-winner for whole family. Cases of that kind must have the sympathy of the House because they appealed to the best feelings of our nature. ["Hear, hear."] The only objection urged against his Amendment 1431 in Committee was that the Government had in their definition followed Lord Campbell's Act. But that was passed more than 50 years ago, and he saw no reason why the House should regard that as a binding precedent. It was only in cases where the deceased workman had been the bread winner of brothers and sisters that the Act would apply. The sentiments of the community would be outraged if in cases of that kind where a workman was killed the brothers or sisters dependent upon him were left entirely without maintenance.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said the point of the hon. and learned Member's Amendment was to include both "brother and sister." They had already expressed their view that they thought they had gone far enough, having regard to the interests concerned, and he was afraid they must adhere to that decision.
§ Amendment negatived.
MR. TOMLINSON moved, after the words last inserted, to add,—
'Total incapacity' means loss of sight, or of both legs or of both arms, or any other injury of such a nature as to permanently incapacitate the workman from earning wages at the kind of work on which he was employed;
'Partial incapacity' means loss of one eye, one leg or arm or hand, or any other injury of such a nature as to permanently incapacitate the workman front earning full wages at the work on which he was employed.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
said that no difference was made in the scale of compensation between total and partial incapacity, and therefore no definition of the two forms of incapacity was required.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. MORTON moved, "That further proceeding, on consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
hoped the hon. Gentleman would not press his Motion. He confessed that the progress they had made that night had not been quite so rapid as he had hoped, and though he was quite sure on both sides of the House there was a great desire to further the Bill, the discussion had perhaps been in some cases more 1432 fitted to the Committee than the Report stage of the Bill. He thought everybody would feel that it would be very inconvenient that the Debate should go over Monday. They still had a great deal of work to do, and he would earnestly beg the House not to waste a moment's time. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 6,—