§ 17. Mr. PAGET
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that though the panel doctor gave Minnie Halls, a domestic servant and a member of an approved society, a certificate of disability for work on the 28th July, and the official of the Refuge Insurance Company in which she was insured stated on the 31st July that the benefit would be forwarded when she had filled up the forms he sent, Halls received no payment whatsoever until the 10th November, nearly three and a half months later; and will he state what steps he has taken to prevent such delay in other cases?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Dr. Addison)
As the hon. Member has already been informed, the delay in the payment, of benefit was due to the fact that inquiries had to be made as to the member's title to compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, and that the member changed her address in the course of such inquiries. I have no reason to think that in ordinary circumstances there is any avoidable delay in the payment of claims for benefit.
§ 18. Mr. PAGET
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a stock printed letter, described as No. 16 letter, was sent by the legal department of the National Amalgamated Approved Society to Minnie Halls, in which the society, though stating that the circumstances of the case did not warrant legal proceedings being taken to recover compensation, told Halls that their decision did not prevent her from taking such proceedings if she desired; whether he will take steps to prevent such incitement of unlearned persons by an approved society to engage in futile legal proceedings against their employers; and will he make inquiry whether the approved society, before endeavouring to bring the case under the 1127 Workmen's Compensation Act, sent an inspector to the panel doctor to ascertain whether his knowledge of the case would support such a claim?
§ Dr. ADDISON
My right hon. Friend has seen a copy of the letter referred to, which does not appear to bear the interpretation placed upon it by the hon. Member. My right hon. Friend is informed that the reply to the last part of the question is in the negative.