HC Deb 30 March 1949 vol 463 cc1196-7
4. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will consider a revision of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago concerning workmen's compensation in order to bring them into line with British law in view of the expressed wishes of the Trinidad and Tobago Trades Union Council.

Mr. Rees-Williams

The Government of Trinidad is appointing a Committee to consider and make recommendations for the revision of the existing workmen's compensation legislation in the light of present-day conditions, regard being paid to any principles and provisions laid down in current international labour conventions and recommendations dealing with workmen's compensation.

Mr. Rankin

Will my hon. Friend keep before him the fact that at present there is no provision whatsoever in compensation for dealing with diseases that arise directly from the nature of the employment? Would he consider incorporating a schedule to cover that aspect of compensation? Would he also provide for the payment of children's allowances and also for accepting the principle of minimum compensation.

Mr. Rees-Williams

I take it that these matters will be considered by the Committee.

Mr. Awbery

In view of the fact that workmen's compensation will become a great problem in our industrially developed Colonies, will the Minister lay down a minimum standard of workmen's compensation as a future guide to the Colonies so that they can incorporate it in any industrial legislation which they may introduce?

Mr. Mathers

Before that is answered, may I ask the Minister if it is not a fact that an adequate code of workmen's compensation was laid down by the Labour Government of 1929–31?

Mr. Rees-Williams

This is a different question altogether, and a much wider one, but my right hon. Friend is constantly in communication with the Colonial Governments on this very matter.