§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether action has been taken on the promise given by His Majesty's Government on several occasions during the discussion of the Workmen's Compensation Bill of 1906, that immediate general inquiry should be held into the best form in which to secure universal insurance to prevent the defeat of rights accruing under the law giving compensation for accidents.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GLADSTONE,) Leeds, W.
I said on the Second Reading of the Workmen's Compensation Bill on 4th April, 1906, that the Government believed the principle of compulsory insurance to be the right one, and the one which ought to be adopted as soon as practicable, and I intimated that an inquiry into the question would be undertaken without unnecessary delay. I do not depart in any way from that statement, but I consider that the inquiry is likely to be much more fruitful of useful results if it is deferred until we have fuller and more reliable information of the working of the present system than could now be obtained. As my right hon. friend is no doubt aware, I have already taken steps under Section 12 of the Act to obtain statistics of its working as regards the most important industries.