§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a compensation case in Hexham County Court, where a grandmother was non-suited because of the illegitimacy of her grandson; and whether he will introduce legislation to amend the Workmen's Compensation Act in order to remove this barrier to proceedings.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.) The hon. Member has kindly furnished me with particulars of this case, to which my attention had not previously been drawn. Undoubtedly the case is a hard one, but I am not prepared to propose any amendment of the law which would extend the right to compensation in fatal cases to persons dependent on the deceased, but not standing towards him in any legitimate relationship. There are obvious objections to so serious a change in the law, and I may remind the hon. Member that when the Bill of 1897 was in Committee of this House similar proposals were discussed and rejected.