HC Deb 26 April 1910 vol 17 cc240-1

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention had been called to doubts which had arisen as to the liability under the Employers' Liability Act of returning officers for any accident occurring to persons performing duties in connection with a Parliamentary election; and whether he would consider the advisability of introducing a Bill to define the law?

The ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir William Robson)

The hon. Member is no doubt, referring to the accident at Birmingham. I cannot see what liability can attach, under the Employers' Liability Act, to the returning officer. The Em- ployers' Liability Act is strictly limited to workmen, and only to cases where the fault is with the negligence of some superior workman. I rather gather that the hon. Member is referring to doubts in connection with the Workmen's Compensation Act. If so, I think they are much more likely and more appropriate to be settled by litigation than by legislation.


Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that returning officers have no funds whatever, and could not possibly meet a liability of that kind? Under these circumstances, is it not reasonable that some definition of their liability should be given by law?


I could not promise legislation on a matter of that kind this Session.