HC Deb 14 October 1943 vol 392 cc1043-4
42. Mr. Francis Watt

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that workmen's compensation in the British coal-mining industry is almost wholly administered by trade mutual insurance companies; why none of these companies were consulted by his Department regarding the Workmen's Compensation (Temporary Increases) Bill; and how far the consultations which occurred between his Department and insurance interests were confined to the Accident Officers' Association, a body representative only of tariff companies?

Mr. H. Morrison

The mutual indemnity companies to whom my hon. Friend refers are associations of employers whose views are, I understand, represented through the British Employers' Confederation, with which there was consultation. In addition to the British Employers' Confederation and the Accident Officers' Association, representatives of non-tariff insurance companies and Lloyds underwriters undertaking employers' liability insurance were also consulted.

Mr. Watt

Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that this Bill affects accidents going back over a period of nearly 20 years and imposes an additional liability on employers of all workmen drawing weekly payments since January, 1924? In those circumstances, and having regard to the fact that a great many of these cases could not possibly be covered by existing—

Mr. Speaker

That is becoming a speech, not a question.

Mr. Watt

Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that something more than the perfunctory investigations he has carried out are necessary?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir, we gave the matter very careful consideration. There were discussions as regards these particular companies, and they are associated with the employers' organisation which was consulted. I do not think that any injustice has been done.

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