§ 32. Mr. JAMES THOMAS
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Great Western Railway Provident Society, membership of which prior to the Act was a condition of service, have now established an approved section under the Act; and, having regard to the fact that no man can be employed unless he joins or retains his membership in the provident society of which no amended scheme to provide for benefits for the difference between the present contributions and that required for the State section has been suggested, and seeing that no ballot of the members has been taken on the suggested alterations, what action 1631 he proposes to take to prevent this society becoming approved, as it defeats the intention of the National Insurance Act in so far as it debars a man from exercising a free right of choice regardless of employment?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The Great Western Railway Provident Society has not established an approved section under the National Insurance Act. No application has yet been received by the Insurance Commission for the approval of the Provident Society or of a separate section thereof. If such application is received, the Commissioners before granting approval will satisfy themselves that the constitution of the society complies with the requirements of the Act, one of which is that no society shall be approved as an employers' fund under the conditions of Section 25 of the Act if membership of it is made a condition of employment.
§ Mr. J. H. THOMAS
If the society has not been approved, can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the men were on Friday last stopped 1s. 6d. out of their wages, whereas, hitherto their contributions have been 1s. 2d. per week?