HC Deb 18 July 1907 vol 178 c923

I beg to ask the Prime Minister if he is aware that in Sunderland and district large numbers of old men are being paid off, due to the coming into operation of the Compensation Act; and, if so, can he state whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce any legislation having for its object the mitigation of the hardship and suffering likely to ensue on account of such dismissals.


I beg to answer this Question on behalf of my right hon. friend. I have no information other than that furnished by the hon. Member as to what has taken place at Sunderland. But I may remind him that on Report stage of the Workmen's Compensation Bill, I proposed the insertion of a clause which would have gone far to safeguard old men against the risk of losing their employment, and I pressed for its adoption on the ground that the Depart mental Committee, whose views I shared, considered that without such a safeguard there was real danger of old and infirm workmen being prejudicially affected by the new act. That clause was left to the free decision of the House in pursuance of a promise given in Committee, and it was, unfortunately, in my opinion, rejected by 211 votes to 133. I think the hon. Member voted in the majority against it.