§ 20. Major BOWDEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is 21 still considering the case of the thirty surfacemen employed at Waleswood collieries, near Sheffield; and whether, in view of the fact that these men were, at the commencement of the operation of the National Insurance Act, informed that they were not insurable under Part II., and now a demand is made on them for arrears of contributions amounting to 39s. 2d., he will give these men the option of either entering insurance for the first time on the date of the decision that they are insurable or of making up their arrears in accordance with his letter to the men of the 5th instant?
§ Mr. BURNS
I am not aware that the workmen referred to were informed that they were not insurable. The Board of Trade have no power to dispense with the payment of any arrears of contributions due under Part II. of the National Insurance Act, 1911. The communication of the 5th June, referred to by the hon. Member, stated, that so far as the Board of Trade were aware, an employer, on paying up arrears of contributions, was not precluded from recovering the workman's share thereof by deductions in reasonable instalments from the workman's wages. I hope that the question of deductions in respect of arrears will be dealt with in the amending Bill now before Parliament.
§ Major BOWDEN
Is it legal to deduct insurance contributions from wages except for that period for which those wages are paid?
§ Major BOWDEN
Is it fair to ask colliery surfacemen suddenly to produce 22 39s. 2d. just because Board of Trade officials change their mind?