§ MR. SUMMERBELL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that Dr. Fee Todd, Government Medical Referee under the Compensation Act, in a recent case acted as the employer's doctor, and also as agent for an insurance company, informing the applicant that he was quite well and offering him eight weeks compensation and a light job as a final settlement; and, if so, whether he will take steps, by legislation or otherwise, to prevent a medical referee from acting as indicated.
§ *MR. GLADSTONE
The conditions on which Medical Referees are appointed preclude them from holding any professional appointments which would involve either attendance on, or examination of, injured workmen, and Dr. Todd informs me that he holds no agency for any insurance company nor is he under any con- 712 tracts to examine workmen coming under the Act. He states however, that from time to time he is called upon to treat or to examine such cases in the ordinary course of his practice; and while Medical Referees are instructed to avoid, as far as possible, cases which may afterwards come before them in their capacity of Referee, no absolute rule has been laid down that they are to decline all such cases. Of course where a Medical Referee has attended an injured workman, he is precluded, by Section 10 of the Act of last session, from acting subsequently in that case in his official capacity. Dr. Todd does not say in his reply whether or not he made an offer on behalf of the insurance company as alleged in the Question, but I have communicated with him further in the matter. Any such offer on the part of a referee would, I think, be quite inconsistent with his official position.