HC Deb 17 January 1940 vol 356 cc111-2
13. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Home Secretary whether any decision has yet been reached to amend the Workmen's Compensation Act?

Mr. Peake

As has been previously indicated, the question of legislation affecting the major problems of workmen's compensation must await the report of the Royal Commission, which is proceeding with its inquiry.

Mr. Smith

Can the Minister assure the House that we are likely to have some interim report from this Royal Commission in the immediate future, and that he agrees about the extreme urgency of the matter?

Mr. Peake

I cannot give any assurance about the production of an interim report at an early date, but my right hon. Friend has, as was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the end of November last, urged the Royal Commission to proceed with its work. The Royal Commission is doing so, and has held two meetings in the recent past.

Mr. T. Williams

Although we recognise that the Royal Commission will deal with major problems, has the Home Office any idea that something is likely to be done to satisfy conditions during the war respecting an immediate increase in compensation?

Mr. Peake

We regard rates of benefit as one of the major problems. We shall, however, keep a careful watch on the position as it is affected by any rise which may take place in the cost of living.

Mr. Attlee

In view of the urgency of this matter and of the tenour of the Minister's reply, I beg to give notice that we shall take an early opportunity of raising a Debate on the matter.