§ 3. Mr. Reader Harris
asked the Minister of National Insurance why a trade union acting on behalf of one of its members has greater facilities for lodging appeals with commissioners than private individuals not so represented; and whether he will amend Statutory Instrument, 1948, No. 1144, to give equal facilities to claimants represented by trade unions and those not so represented.
§ Mr. Peake
The distinction to which my hon. Friend draws attention is that if the tribunal is unanimous, an appeal to the Commissioner can be made only with the consent of the Tribunal or of the Commissioner, unless it is raised by a trade union or other association which exists to promote the welfare of its members. This distinction, which was approved by the National Insurance Advisory Committee, was intended to prevent the Commissioner from being overwhelmed with frivolous or groundless appeals, and I am not aware that it is proving unsatisfactory in practice.
§ Mr. Harris
Can my right hon. Friend say why a trade union, apparently, is less likely to lodge a frivolous appeal than is a private individual, who is much more affected by it? Does he not realise that this is a form of discrimination against the non-trade unionist, which might have been expected from the previous Government but not from this one?