HC Deb 05 July 1898 vol 60 cc1111-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that some schemes under the Workmen's Compensation for Injuries Act have been obtained by allowing ballots to be taken in connection with our fiery and dangerous mines in Yorkshire, of all surface hands, clerks, labourers on farms, general works officials, and managers thereof; whether the Act provides that such workers would be allowed to vote for any such schemes; whether the men in such works are bound by the results of such ballots; whether in any scheme where persons have voted who are not scheduled under the Act voids the said ballot; and whether he will take steps to prevent any scheme coming into force under the Act where surface hands have voted for any such scheme?


I am informed that no such scheme as is referred to has been certified. I may say, however, that no provision is made in the Act for any ballot on a scheme, and that if a ballot is taken it has no legal effect, though it will no doubt serve to indicate the wishes of the men. The Registrar before certifying a scheme must be satisfied that the scheme is not less favourable to the general body of workmen than the Act, and before coming to a decision hears the views of the workmen. Even when certified, the scheme is not binding on any workman unless he individually accepts it. I must remind the honourable Member that I have no power to prevent schemes coming into force, and that the Registrar acts independently of me in the matter.