HC Deb 25 April 1898 vol 56 cc940-1
MR. W. J. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he is aware that considerable discontent exists among the various friendly societies in regard to the action of the London and India Docks Committee in asking or compelling their servants to sever their connection with courts or lodges of friendly societies as a condition of their hiring; (2) whether he is aware that the Joint National Conference, representing all the important friendly societies in the country, unanimously passed a resolution praying for such an alteration in the law as would make such a condition of hiring illegal; (3) whether, when the Workmen's Compensation Act comes into force, such a condition of hiring will be illegal in connection with accident clubs formed, with the consent of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies; and (4) whether Her Majesty's Government can see their way to introducing a Bill this Session so as to place shop clubs, which provide for sickness, under the same liability with regard to conditions of hiring as will exist under the Workmen's Compensation Act?


I have no special information on the point mentioned in the first paragraph of the Question; but I have received the reso- lution mentioned in the second, and many others in similar terms. No scheme can be certified under the Act if the scheme obliges the workman to join it as a condition of hiring. It must be remembered, however, that a workman joining such a scheme surrenders the rights given him by the Act, whereas he retains those rights if he joins any other club or society. I cannot, I am afraid, hold out any hope that the Government will introduce any such legislation as the hon. Member suggests.