§ 65 and 66. Mr. HUDSON
asked (1) if the National Insurance section of the Great Southern and Western Railway sick fund is named the Great Southern and Western Railway National Health Insurance Society; whether the company have endeavoured to make it compulsory upon the men employed; whether this is a different title of society from that placed before the men by circular; (2) if the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the majority of the members of the Great Southern and Western Railway (Ireland) sick fund national insurance cards for the first quarter are still in possession of the sick 2254 fund of this railway company; and will he say what steps, in the circumstances, does he propose to take in order to insure the benefits of the Act to those members on and after the 16th instant?
§ 68. Mr. CLANCY
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention, or that of the Insurance Commissioners for Ireland, has been called to a resolution of the members of the Great Southern and Western Railway sick fund, held on the 5th instant, in which a claim is made to be re-leased from any and every nomination made by any of the members in favour of making the society mentioned an approved society under the National Insurance Act, in consequence of the committee appointed failing to comply with the conditions of the Irish Insurance Commissioners; and whether the allegations in the resolution are well-founded; and, if so, what action the Irish Insurance Commissioners propose to take, especially in view of the fact that the society is alleged to be in possession of the majority of the members' first quarter's contribution cards!
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
It was originally intended that the Great Southern and Western Railway sick fund, which was in existence prior to the commencement of the National Insurance Act, should itself become an approved society for the purposes of the Act, but owing to delay in connection with the preparation of a scheme under Section 72 of the Act the application for approval was dropped and application was made for the approval of a new society called the Great Southern and Western Railway Company's Employes' Health Insurance Society, and this approval was granted by the Irish Commissioners. A copy of the resolution passed at the meeting of the 5th instant has been received by the Irish Commissioners. If any members of the sick fund made application for membership of the new approved society and were accepted and desire now to transfer their membership to another approved society, they must withdraw from their present society in accordance with its rules. I am not aware that the Great Southern and Western Railway Company have endeavoured to make it compulsory upon their employes to join a new health insurance society. There does not appear to be any foundation for the allegation that the first quarter's contribution cards of the majority of the members are still in the possession of the 2255 sick fund. I am informed that the membership of the health insurance society is about 4,700 and that the first quarter's cards of 4,535 members had been received by the Irish Commissioners up to the 8th instant. I may also point out that the provisional benefits to members entitled to them is not conditional upon the cards having been forwarded to the Commission.