HC Deb 27 October 1932 vol 269 cc1130-1

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the number, down to the last convenient date, of persons employed in the asbestos industry who have been medically examined in pursuance of the Silicosis and Asbestosis (Medical Arrangements) Scheme in England and Wales and Scotland, respectively; the total amount paid by employers to the medical expenses fund in respect of such examinations; and the number of persons certified by the medical board as totally disabled or suspended from employment as suffering from asbestosis?


Since the 1st June, 1931, when the Silicosis and Asbestosis (Medical Arrangements) Scheme came into force, 1,535 workmen have been examined under the scheme in the asbestos industry in England and Wales and 80 in Scotland. The total amount paid by employers to the Medical Expenses Fund in respect of these examinations is £2,300. Certificates of total disablement or suspension on account of asbestosis or asbestosis accompanied by tuberculosis have been issued in 30 eases in England and Wales and two cases in Scotland.


In view of the large expense incurred by employers and the small number of men found to be unfit for work, will the right hon. Gentleman consider rescinding or modifying this scheme?


No, Sir. I think that this new experiment is fully justified. Of course, it is true that it requires very expert examination, but it may be that the cost will be materially reduced in the future.

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of tin-mining, this scheme operates to the disadvantage of both employers and employés, especially as the latter cannot get employment?


I think it is too early to make an assertion of that kind.