HC Deb 17 July 1941 vol 373 cc712-3
15. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will amend the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme in order to cover a Civil Defence volunteer against injury during the period when he leaves home to report to his post for duty and when he leaves his post to return to his home?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

A Civil Defence volunteer going to and from duty is covered by the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme for injuries caused to him by enemy action. For other injuries the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, requires that the injury shall have arisen "out of and in the course of" duty, a requirement similar to that laid down by the Workmen's Compensation Acts. This requirement would not be satisfied during the periods in question under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act any more than under the Workmen's Compensation Acts. If, however, the journey is made in response to an emergency call (for example, an air-raid warning) the injury can be brought within the scope of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme.

Sir A. Knox

Will my right hon. Friend once more look into the case of an air-raid warden in my constituency who sustained a fracture of his leg in the early morning of 13th March while going to ordinary duty as an air-raid warden, and received no compensation, and who cannot work yet?

Sir W. Womersley

I am certainly prepared to look into any cases which my hon. and gallant Friend submits to me, but I have to take into account whether the man was going on duty as a result of an emergency call, or just proceeding along the street in the ordinary way.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Why does the right hon. Gentleman tie this scheme to workmen's compensation, when he knows that the State has to have regard to these injuries to civil defence workers, whereas the workman has to challenge capitalist insurance companies for his rights under workmen's compensation?

Sir W. Womersley

These conditions were laid down after close consultation with the Trades Union Congress representatives and representatives of the employers' associations, and with the agreement of all concerned. That is all I can say about it.