§ 14. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the men employed as speltermen in the Swansea district are employed in the only trade or avocation scheduled as a dangerous trade under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, and regularly work seven days a week without a break the whole year round?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am afraid I do not quite understand the first part of the question. Twenty-four industrial diseases in all have been scheduled for the purposes of the Compensation Act, and many of these, like lead poisoning, occur in a variety of industries. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which my predecessor gave him on the same subject on the 18th of November, 1910, and in which he stated that the process was one that required to be carried on continuously throughout the week and that the speltermen's hours of work averaged from fifty-six to sixty weekly.
§ 15. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any power by way of regulation to put an end to the sacrifice of health and life resulting from the unreasonably long hours of employment in a poisonous atmosphere by the speltermen in the Swansea district?
§ Mr. McKENNA
This industry was made the subject af a careful inquiry in 1910, a Report of which was presented to Parliament, and regulations for the purpose of safeguarding the health of the workers were subsequently made and came into force in October of last year. The Report did not recommend any limitation of the hours of adult men, and it is too early yet to form any judgment on the working of the regulations, but the matter will be carefully watched.
§ 16. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the amount of compensation paid to the dependants of the four workmen who died of lead poisoning since the year 1907 whilst following their employment as speltermen in the Swansea district?
§ 17. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make inquiry into the seventy-seven cases of lead poisoning which have occurred since 1907 in the spelter trade in the Swansea district, with a view to ascertaining how many of those so suffering have been permanently disabled from following their usual employment; and whether he will inquire as to whether any cases of wrist-drop have occurred in the cases reported?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The information in the possession of the Home Office shows that ten of the cases were reported as severe, thirty as moderate, and thirty-seven as slight, and that wrist-drop was reported in seventeen. My Department has no means of ascertaining in how many cases the workman may prove to be permanently disabled from following his usual occupation.
§ Mr. O'GRADY
Has the right hon. Gentleman ever had any figures showing the average life of those engaged at this work?