§ 67. Mr. JOEL
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Leonard Cox, of 49, Badger Street, Upper Gornal, Dudley, the facts of which show that a workman engaged in grinding fire-bricks who contracts silicosis is not entitled to compensation whereas another workman working in the same factory and grinding silica bricks is entitled to compensation; and whether he will take steps to provide that these anomalies in the compensation law shall be altered?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)
The Home Office has no evidence that workmen engaged in the fire-brick industry as distinct from the silica brick industry are exposed to the risk of silicosis so as to justify the making of a compensation scheme to cover them. As regards the case of Leonard Cox, I understand that he has not been examined by the Silicosis Medical Board, and that in correspondence with the board it was merely certified that silicosis is suspected: but I will have further inquiries made.
§ Mr. TH0RNE
When making inquiries, will my hon. Friend try to ascertain the percentage of silicosis in these particular bricks?
§ Sir JOHN HASLAM
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that for two years now some of us have been asking for inquiries of this description and have continually been put off, and is it not time an inquiry was made?
§ Mr. MAINWARING
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether, in order to expedite the reforms which are persistently being asked for, it is possible to give to the experts a dose of the diseases to which reference is made?