§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that three workmen who had met with accidents and been compensated under the Workmen's Compensation Act and had subsequently resumed work were dismissed by their employers, Messrs. Graham, Morton, and Company, of Leeds, solely because the Royal Exchange Accident Company refused to continue the risk of insuring the firm against further claims in their case; and whether he proposes taking any action to protect workmen against dismissal in such cases.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. AKERS-DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
I have no information with regard to these three cases beyond that which the hon. Member has been good enough to send me, but it appears that each of the three men had received a substantial sum by way of commuted allowance in respect of their continuing disability to work, and that the insurance company objected to their re-employment on the ground of this disability. In these circumstances, since the men have been compensated for the disability which, as I gather, was the bar to their further employment, I fear that I cannot see what action I could take in the matter.
§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
Will the right hon. Gentleman refer the whole of this case to the law officers of the Crown to see whether it is possible to take action against the insurance company for intimidation and preventing the men earning their daily bread, notwithstanding the fact that the employer is willing to allow them to work. Surely what is sauce for the workmen is sauce for the insurance company.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
T do not think that can be alleged against the insurance company. The company have paid for the disabilities suffered by these men, and I do not see that I can go so far as the hon. Member suggests.
§ MR. CROOKS
They interfere with all the workmen in the firm, because they say that unless the firm discharges these three men they will refuse to insure any of the workmen. Surely we have the right to protect our men better than that.