HC Deb 23 July 1934 vol 292 cc1529-30
46 and 48. Mr. NEIL MACLEAN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether he is aware that on the 19th October, 1933, Mr. Pedro Carrasco, blacksmith in the employ of the Gibraltar Gas Company, was killed in an explosion, and that the amount of compensation paid to his widow was; and if he will take some steps to improve the law of workmen's compensation in the colony?

(2) whether he, is aware that Mr. Alfred Sheriff, an employé of the city council of Gibraltar, met with an accident whilst at work which necessitated the amputation of a leg; that the only compensation which he could legally claim was the sum of £18 1s. 8d.; that the city council made an ex gratia payment of a small pension and addressed a communication to the Governor raising the whole question of compensation for workmen; and whether he will now take steps to institute a further inquiry into the question of workmen's compensation and employers' liability in Gibraltar?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)

I have no information on either of the two cases referred to by the hon. Member, but I am asking the Governor for his observations in the matter. The hon. Member will recollect that, in answer to a question which he asked on the 6th June, I made a full statement on the question of workmen's compensation in Gibraltar.


As that statement was wholly unsatisfactory, and as, the conditions under which compensation is paid still remain, will the right hon. Gentleman not go into the matter further, since the city council itself has now made a request to the Governor?


I have not had anything, but, if I had from the Governor a report and a recommendation from the city council on the subject, I should naturally give the most careful consideration to it and afford the city council an opportunity to make observations thereon.


But is the right hon. Gentleman not aware of the dissatisfaction that arises owing to the fact that when dockyard workmen go out from this country and suffer an injury, they come under workmen's compensation according to the dockyard rates for this country, and, if anyone is injured there in practically the same work, he comes under the state of compensation paid in Gibraltar?


I believe the position is that a very large number of people are either direct employés of His Majesty's Government in the dockyard or municipal employés. The dockyard people, if I remember aright, are covered by a Treasury Warrant, and the other people by a somewhat similar arrangement, which leaves very few people to whom no workmen's compensation applies.


Can my right hon. Friend say if these grievances existed when the Socialist party were in power?


Yes, if they are grievances. I think we are carrying on exactly the same system, both municipally and nationally, that has been the practice for years.