MR. E. BATNBRIDGE (Lincoln, Gainsborough)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his statement (made to the deputation from the Mining Association of Great Britain to the Marquess of Salisbury on Friday last) that the Workmen (Compensation for Accidents) Bill, as drawn, relieves the employer to the extent of 30 per cent. of the cost of compensation, indicates that it is the intention of the Government that this proportion should represent the contribution of the workmen?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
This Question refers to what I said in a speech, and I have already intimated to the hon. Member that I thought it was hardly a matter which was worth the attention of the House of Commons. As, however, the Question has been put to me publicly, I have to say that the hon. Member appears to have entirely misunderstood the sense of my observations. What I did say was, that in the Compensation 1351 Bill we had excluded the first two weeks as not to be paid for in any case, and I went on to say that the result of that was to exclude altogether 25 per cent., or one-quarter of the whole, of the accidents that took place. I further pointed out that besides these exceptions, amounting to 25 per cent. on the whole number of accidents, we took two weeks off the compensation that was given in the case of all other accidents; and as in the average of the majority of these accidents, which were known as accidents which caused temporary incapacity, the incapacity only lasted six weeks, the effect was to reduce the amount of compensation in such cases by about 30 per cent., and to that statement I adhere.