HC Deb 05 July 1917 vol 95 cc1292-3

asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that Daniel Baker, of High Street, Graigue-namanagh, county Kilkenny, died on 1st February, 1917, as the result of ether poisoning incurred while working in the employment of Hill Factory (lately Nobel Explosive Factory), Pembrey, Carmarthen; that a coroner's jury found that the ether poisoning was the result of misadventure; than Daniel Baker left a widow and seven children dependent upon him; that an application for £150 compensation for the said widow and children has been refused on the grounds, as alleged, that the poisoning was deceased's own fault; that the refusal was persisted in after applicant's solicitor had drawn the attention of the Ministry of Munitions to the verdict of the coroner's jury; and that Mary Baker and her children are at present depending upon charity and are appealing to charity to assist them to bring a claim for compensation before the arbitrator under the Workmen's Compensation Act in the county of Carmarthen; whether it is his intention to oppose the claim: and whether, in all the circumstances, he will in the public interests meet this claim without delay?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The verdict of the coroner's jury was that the cause of death was syncope due to having by misadventure taken a quantity of ether. With regard to the remainder of the question a post-mortem examination, made by two doctors, showed that Baker had died as the result of drinking ether, and not as the result of the in-halation of ether fumes. The death could not be regarded as the result of an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the man's employment, and liability under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, was consequently denied.

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