HC Deb 02 June 1938 vol 336 cc2210-2
15 and 16. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he can now make a statement on the Departmental Committee's report on certain questions arising under the Workmen's Compensation Acts; and what action it is proposed to take on the conclusions and recommendations made in the report;

(2) what action it is proposed to take to deal with the question of miners' nystagmus; has he given consideration to the Departmental Committee's report; and, if so, what steps is it proposed to take to carry out the recommendations of the Committee?

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

I am afraid I am not yet in. a position to make any further statement on the subject.

Mr. Smith

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any idea when a statement can be made, in view of the seriousness of this matter?

Sir S. Hoare

No, Sir. I am afraid that I cannot add to my statement. There seems no prospect of time being available this Session for legislation of this kind.

Mr. T. Smith

Does that mean that during the lifetime of this Parliament we shall get some legislation on this matter?

Sir S. Hoare

I should not like to be drawn into giving an answer so far ahead.

An Hon. Member

Does it means that we shall not get anything this Session?

Sir S. Hoare

I have said that as far as I can see there is no time this Session.

Mr. Thorne

Does it mean that the life of this Parliament will run its full term?

Sir S. Hoare


21. Mr. Tinker

asked the Home Secretary the number of cases of silicosis receiving compensation under workmen's compensation for the year ended 1937, and the number in the Lancashire coalfield for the same period?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

I am afraid the figures asked for are not available, but it may assist the hon. Member to know that in 1937 the Silicosis Medical Board granted 286 disablement certificates to persons employed in coal mines of whom eight had been last employed in Lancashire collieries.

24. Mr. R. J. Taylor

asked the Home Secretary the total amount paid in workmen's compensation, premiums and charges, and expenses for the year 1936?

Sir S. Hoare

The amount is roughly estimated at about £12,500,000.

Mr. Taylor

As the total amount paid in compensation is £8,000,000, does not that fact convey to the mind of the right hon. Gentleman the need of a new compensation Act, so that the injured workmen may have justice, fair play and a higher rate of compensation?

Sir S. Hoare

The hon. Member's supplementary question raises a very wide issue, and I do not think that I can deal with it in answer to a question.

Mr. Taylor

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if this issue is so wide the indignation throughout the country is commensurate, and as the right hon. Gentleman has no time to tell us how he can bring greater benefits of compensation, does not that point to the fact that his time is so taken up with air-raid precautions that this should be the work of a separate Department?