HC Deb 09 November 1911 vol 30 cc1935-7

(1) Every dispute between—

  1. (a) An approved society or a branch thereof and an insured person who is a member of such society or branch or any person claiming through him;
  2. (b) An approved society or branch thereof, and any person who has for not more than six months ceased to be a member for the purposes of this Part of this Act of such society or branch, or any person claiming through him;
  3. (c) An approved society and any branch thereof;
  4. (d) Any two or more branches of an approved society,
relating to anything done or omitted by such insured person, society, or branch (as the case may be) under this Part of this Act or any regulation made thereunder, shall be decided in the first instance in accordance with the rules of the society, but any party to such dispute may appeal from such decision in the prescribed manner to the Insurance Commissioners.

(2) Every dispute between a deposit contributor and the local health committee, relating to anything done or omitted by such contributor or the local health committee under this Act, or any regulation made hereunder, shall be decided in the prescribed manner by the Insurance Commissioners.

(3) The Insurance Commissioners may authorise referees appointed by it to decide any appeal or dispute submitted to the Insurance Commissioners under this Section.

(4) The Insurance Commissioners may make regulations as to the procedure on any such appeal or dispute, and such regulations may apply any of the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1889, but, except so far as it may be so applied, the Arbitration Act, 1889, shall not apply to proceedings under this Section, and any decision given by the Insurance Commissioners or a referee under this Section shall be final and conclusive.

Amendments made: In Sub-section 1 (b), leave out the words "for more than six months."

In paragraph (d) leave out the word "insured" ["by such insured person."]—[Mr. Lloyd George.]


I beg to move, in paragraph (d) to leave out the words "in the first instance."

This is a very important Amendment. It is intended to safeguard the rights of friendly societies in order to ensure that disputes of what may be described as a domestic character should be dealt with finally by their own rules. The Bill is drawn very curiously. It provides that the disputes shall be dealt with under the rules of the society, "in the first instance." There is no reason why those rules should not be mentioned and disputes decided by them not only in the first instance, but in all cases, even in the event of appeals. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will accept the Amendment, as I do not propose to move the following Amendment, which would leave out the rest of the Clause. If you leave in these words it would mean that although a dispute was decided by the rules of the society in the first instance, in the event of an appeal it might be decided on other considerations and by other guidance. It is of the first importance if we are to maintain friendly societies as they have been in the past that their power of self-government should be maintained.


I desire very heartily to associate myself and those with whom I act with the Amendment just moved.


I think my hon. Friend cannot have quite appreciated the point. The hon. Gentleman opposite orignally intended to leave out these words with a view to preventing all appeals. He has now abandoned the desire to prevent appeals. The omission of these words alone would not have the smallest effect, it makes no difference whether the words "in the first instance" are retained or not.


Then accept the Amendment.


If there is any urgent desire that we should accept this Amendment without accepting the hon. Member's subsequent Amendment, we are quite prepared to agree to the omission of these words.

Amendment agreed to.

And, it being Half-past Ten of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 25th October, successively to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by the Government, of which notice had been given, and the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Half-past Ten of the clock at this day's sitting.

Further Amendments made: In Subsection (1) after the word "may" ["may appeal from such decision"] insert the words "in such cases and in such manner as may be prescribed."

In Sub-section (1), leave out the words "in the prescribed manner."—[Mr. Lloyd George.]

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.