§ Mr. JOHN WILLIAMS
asked whether in view of the number of bankruptcies which have occurred amongst colliery owners throughout the country during the last twelve years affecting the compensation of colliery workmen under the Workmen's Compensation Act, he will, at his earliest opportunity, introduce a Bill making it compulsory upon all colliery owners to insure their workmen against all accidents, fatal and non-fatal; and whether, in the meantime, he will cause a Return to be made and laid upon the Table of the House showing the number of bankruptcies which have occurred during the period afore-stated, and the amount of compensation affected thereby?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
An inquiry into the question of compulsory insurance will be necessary before legislation can be undertaken. Such an inquiry was promised by Lord Gladstone, and will be instituted as soon as sufficient experience is available as to the working of the present Act. My right hon. Friend has no information to 1433 show that the question is one of greater importance to the colliery industry than to others, but he will see what figures can be obtained and communicate further with the hon. Member.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
May I ask whether, in the event of this inquiry being undertaken, it will be an inquiry into the promise made four years ago that an insurance Department would be set up for workmen's compensation?