§ MR. BAINBRIDGE (Lincolnshire, Gainsborough)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the attention of the Government has been directed to the rate asked by the insurance companies for insurance under the Workmen's Compensation Act; is he aware that the rates required by insurance companies (the lowest premium quoted for engineering factories being 26s. per cent.) are very greatly in excess of the figures estimated by the Government during the time the Bill was under discussion by the House; and whether, seeing that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has by letter expressed the opinion to members of the engineering trade that for an ordinary engineering business 5s. per cent. would be an average rate, Government will consider the desirability of taking steps to enable engineering firms to insure under the Act upon terms which will make the burden imposed no greater than what was intended when the Act was passed?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
I have no information as to the rates required by the insurance companies for this industry. The industry is, of course, a dangerous one, but neither I nor my right honourable Friend the Secretary of 531 State for the Colonies gave any estimate as to the liability that could be imposed upon it by the Act. The Government are not prepared to take any such steps as the honourable Member suggests.