§ 5. Mr. WILLIAM THORNE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to a compensation case, which has just been decided in the final court of appeal, of a bricklayer employed by the Admiralty, who lost his 1457 finger and was reported as unfit for further employment; whether the Admiralty offered him 3s. 5d. per week as compensation, on his refusal to accept this sum the offer was increased to 6s. 9d. per week, when he again refused, and after arbitration proceedings the Admiralty offered him 10s. 2d. per week, subject to review in twelve months; whether he is aware that the man filed an application for arbitration in the County Court claiming 17s. 3d. per week; whether he is aware that the case was ruled out on technical grounds, and these technical objections have been sustained by the final Court of Appeal; if he can state whether all the men working under the control of the Admiralty are forced to contract out of the Workmen's Compensation Act; and if he can state whether the scheme adopted by the Admiralty gives more compensation to the workmen than the Workmen's Compensation Act?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The facts of the case are generally as stated in the earlier parts of the question. The case was ruled out of the County Court on the ground that the Court had no jurisdiction, and subsequent appeals against this judgment, based on the suggested invalidity of the Government scheme, were dismissed. With regard to the latter parts of the question, acceptance of the Government scheme is entirely optional so far as Admiralty workmen are concerned. They are perfectly at liberty, without prejudice, to remain under the Act if they so prefer. The Government scheme of compensation is certified by the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies as providing scales of compensation not less favourable to the workmen and their dependants than the corresponding scales in the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906.