HC Deb 12 June 1928 vol 218 cc820-1

I beg to move, That leave be given to introduce a Bill to amend Section Sixteen of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919. Under that particular Act compensation may be paid to those who are deprived of their employment by reason of amalgamation or other causes responsible for the closing down of certain of the stations. The Act limited the compensation to those who were in the employment of undertakings prior to the 8th May, 1919. Although we endeavoured to remedy that defect in the Act of 1926 and although we thought we had remedied the defect and that we should be able to secure compensation for those who had entered the undertaking after the 8th May, 1919, we have found on taking up various cases that legal opinion was against our receiving compensation for being deprived of our employment. We have endeavoured to try to frame a Measure that would not be contentious and that would give an opportunity of doing that which was thought to have been done under the Act of 1926. We ask that instead of it being laid down that people must have been in the employ of the undertaking before the said 8th day of May, 1919, we should delete those words and leave it either for the tribunal, the Commissioners or the referee to decide what compensation these workmen are entitled to receive.

We have come across some very hard cases of men who have started in the employ of an undertaking a day or two after the date mentioned in the Act, and whilst others who started three or days earlier have received compensation it has been denied to these workers. I do not think any exception can be taken to the Bill. Those responsible for these undertakings have told me that they have no objection to it, and, in fact, would prefer to have a chance of paying this compensation. The whole purpose of the Measure is to enable compensation to be paid to those who are deprived of their employment and I ask leave to introduce the Bill.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by M. Kelly, Mr. Clynes, Mr. Hardie, Mr. Robert Young, Mr. Hayday, Mr. Compton, and Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy.