HC Deb 01 July 1898 vol 60 cc796-7
MR. S. EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he could state to the House in how many cases application has been made to the Registrar of Friendly Societies, under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897, for a certificate approving of schemes of compensation, benefit, or insurance for workmen in any employment which would enable the employer to contract out of the Act, and whether in any such cases workmen have been heard upon such schemes, or what steps have been taken to ascertain the views of the workmen affected by such schemes; in how many cases the Registrar of Friendly Societies has certified in favour of such schemes; and in what trades or employments and for what districts such certificates have been given?


I am informed by the Registrar that 26 such applications have been made, that they were each accompanied by a statement of the views of the employer and workmen supporting it; that where the workmen supporting it were not the whole number the employer has been required to suspend a printed abstract of the scheme in each workshop with a notice that any workman was at liberty to send objections to the Registrar; that when objections have been received he has, unless the employer showed cause to the contrary, required the scheme to be amended, and in some cases where there has been no objection has required it in the interests of the workmen; that no workman has applied to be heard in person; and that six certificates have been granted, the industries being mining, engineering, shipbuilding, and Portland cement manufacturing, and the places, Forest of Dean, Garforth, Wednesbury, Newcastle, and Rugby.


May I ask whether there will be any difficulty in placing copies of the schemes as certified in the Library of the House of Commons? Of course I am aware that under the Act of last year the Registrar will have to publish them in his yearly Report, but a considerable time must elapse before that is issued.


The Registrar is not an officer of my Department, but is under the Treasury. I will certainly make inquiry if what the honourable Member suggests can be done, as I think it desirable that every information should be given.