HC Deb 06 August 1912 vol 41 cc2917-8
32. Mr. WILKIE

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the National Insurance Commissioners will by Regulation endeavour to prevent any approved society obtaining any advantage as compared with any other society in the collection of insurance cards in October next; and whether he will consider the possibility by Regulation of preventing employers handing the cards of any or all of their employés to any one organisation, or permitting the agents of any such organisation attending on or about the premises where the persons are employed, with a view to collecting or receiving the insurance cards which would, directly or indirectly, militate against the free choice of an approved society?


I do not think it would be possible, even if it were desirable, for the Commissioners to interfere with the arrangements which societies may make for receiving the cards of their members at the end of the quarter, but the Commissioners would take the most serious view of any attempt by a society to obtain credits in the National Health Insurance Fund upon cards to which it was not entitled. Such an offence might entail withdrawal of approval from the society, and penal consequences under Section 69 of the Act to persons implicated. Any employer who, instead of handing the card to the contributor on its expiry delivered it to an agent of an approved society would be guilty of a breach of the Regulations.

43. Mr. O'GRADY

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that some firms in the furnishing industry in Sheffield are issuing insurance cards, to the workpeople which have spaces on the back, to be filled in, stating who the workpeople were recommended by on starting in the employ of a firm, and the reasons for leaving their employ; and, if so, having regard to the fact that such card partakes of the character note that, the men in the shipbuilding industry threatened to strike against, will steps be taken to declare illegal the issue of such cards?


No such practice as that to which the hon. Member refers has been brought to my notice. The only cards which can be legally used for the purpose of the payment of contributions under Part I. of the National Insurance Act are the cards issued for the purpose by the Commissioners, and accordingly any attempt by any employer to pay a contribution by affixing a stamp to any other kind of card is of no legal effect, and the employer is guilty of a contravention of the Act. It is a breach of the Regulations for any person to deface a proper contribution card by writing on it such particulars as those mentioned by my hon. Friend.