HC Deb 04 July 1938 vol 338 cc31-2
52. Mr. Parker

asked the First Commissioner of Works why Mr. J. R. Burchill was kept waiting five months before any compensation was paid him; why he has been refused compensation since April, although on 1st June he was officially pronounced still only fit for light work; and why none of his solicitor's letters have been answered in the last two months?

The First Commissioner of Works (Sir Philip Sassoon)

The claim for compensation in respect of the accident sustained by Mr. Burchill on 6th January last was not received until 20th April. Under Section 41 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1925, the amount was subject to a deduction in respect of relief granted to Mr. Burchill by the Essex County Council, and it was necessary to ascertain the amount payable to the council on this account before forwarding the balance to his solicitors. Payment was made on 11th May of the balance due at that date. The report of the medical examination made on 1st June indicated that Mr. Burchill was still disabled to a slight extent as a result of the accident, but, before the decision to make payment on the basis of the degree of partial incapacity disclosed could be communicated to his solicitors, notice was received from them of arbitration proceedings. With regard to the last part of the question, all letters from Mr. Burchill's solicitors on the case have been duly answered.

65. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the hardship inflicted in many cases, in particular in the case of Mr. J. R. Burchill, he will consider the amendment of the Employers' Liability Act so as to include servants of the Crown?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir Samuel Hoare)

As stated in my reply of 28th April, I am not aware of the cases of hardship to which the hon. Member refers. He subsequently referred me to the case of Mr. Burchill, but I understand on inquiry that liability for damages was not disclaimed on grounds of Crown exemption from actions at common law or under the Employers' Liability Act.