HC Deb 05 June 1930 vol 239 cc2362-3
39. Mr. HOPKIN

asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that the late Thomas Davies, of Gorslas, Carmarthen-shire, was certified in June, 1929, by his family doctor to be suffering from silicosis and was a few weeks later declared by the medical referee not to be suffering from silicosis; that in April, 1930, the post-mortem examination showed that he died from silicosis; and that at the inquest the verdict was returned in accordance with the medical evidence, namely, that Thomas Davies died from silicosis; and if he is now prepared to change Order 975 so as to obviate the effects of such mistakes to the miner or his dependants?


I have received reports on this case, and the facts appear to be as stated in the question. I am advised that, owing to the presence of the condition known as anthracosis, the diagnosis of the disease in this case would, during the workman's lifetime, be one of peculiar difficulty, and the case affords a very good illustration of the need for improved medical arrangements by the setting up of an expert medical board for the whole country, as recommended by the Departmental Committee. I am seeking to obtain the necessary powers for this purpose in the Workmen's Compensation (Silicosis) Bill which is now before this House, and which I hope will be proceeded with immediately after the Recess, and I can assure my hon. Friend that as soon as the Bill becomes law steps will be taken to establish the new medical organisation with the least possible delay.


In the meantime, is it possible to alter Order 975, so that these men and their dependants may have some kind of compensation?


I am afraid it is not in my power, but that is an important point of detail into which I shall inquire.


Will my right hon. Friend include in the Bill the industrial complaint known as anthracosis?


That again is a detail of which I require notice.