§ 12. Mr. HOHLER
asked whether the Admiralty scheme certified under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, shortly expires; whether it is proposed to prepare and submit a new scheme for certification by the Registrar of Friendly Societies, and, if so, will he see that the new scheme provides that the injured workman shall have a right of appeal from the decision of the Treasury to the Registrar of Friendly Societies or to some independent person; that the injured workman shall be compensated on the basis of the wages he is earning at the date of the accident, instead of upon the basis of his average weekly earnings during the previous twelve months, which inflicts hardship on injured men who have within the previous twelve months been working as apprentices or in a lower grade; and that the injured workman whose earning capacity is totally destroyed shall receive half his average weekly earnings, instead of two-fifths thereof as under the present scheme; and, if not, will he secure that an opportunity for discussing the new scheme be given to this House before it is submitted to the Registrar for certification?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The scheme certified under the Workmen's Compensation Act expires on the 30th of this month. At the recent hearing of petitions in the yards, representations were made to me respecting the details and administration of the scheme, and last Wednesday representative workmen attended from all the yards to confer with me upon the matter. The points raised in the hon. and learned Member's question were amongst those raised on these occasions and the Treasury have been duly notified of the fact. I have been in correspondence with the Treasury upon the whole matter, and it will be for them to submit a draft scheme to the Registrar. The scheme will be submitted to a ballot of the workmen, and will only come into force if approved by such ballot. I should add that there is no compulsion upon any individual man to accept the scheme, even if it is approved in the ballot. He can, without prejudice, be treated under the Workmen's Compensation Act, and further, if at any time he accepts the scheme, he can, on giving the necessary notice, withdraw from it, and come under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Possibly an opportunity may arise in the discussion on Vote 15 to-day to deal more fully with the matter.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
As I stated, the matters raised by the hon. Member have been the subject of discussion.