HC Deb 01 January 1913 vol 46 c348

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any official information showing that the competition of collecting societies has forced all approved societies to bid for members by abolishing medical examination and by admitting to membership many who are afflicted with drinking habits, involving the certainty of sickness, accidents, and unemployment resulting therefrom; and, if so, will he endeavour to protect the national insurance funds from this danger by bringing in a temperance Bill without unnecessary delay, and thus correct as far as is now-possible the dislocation in the natural sequence of reforms?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

I have no official information upon the matters referred to in the first part of the question. I understand that immediately the Act was passed, certain of the largest friendly societies decided to dispense with actual medical examination except in special cases, being satisfied with personal inquiry as to character and health of the applicants for membership. With regard to the last part of the question, I can add nothing to the reply which I gave on 11th December last to the deputation which presented a memorial from the National Temperance Convention.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman himself one of those who set a; very bad example of drinking habits by dining at the Hotel Cecil last night?