HC Deb 09 November 1953 vol 520 cc592-3
41. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will add Dupuytren's contracture to the list of industrial diseases entitled to compensation under the Industrial Injuries Act.

Mr. Peake

No, Sir. On the evidence available I am not satisfied that Dupuytren's contracture fulfils the conditions for prescription laid down in the Act.

Mr. Brockway

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into a case from Slough, the details of which I have sent to him, of a man who has developed this disease, has had an operation, has been off work for 19 weeks, will have to face another operation and who, when he goes to the Tribunal on this matter, is told that he can be given no compensation whatever because it is neither an injury nor a disease on the list? In view of the fact that this case is typical of many others, will the right hon. Gentleman review the whole of the list?

Mr. Peake

The hon. Member knows that the general question in relation to the prescription of industrial diseases is at present before the Beney Committee. I think it is accepted that this particular disease is primarily constitutional in origin.

Mr. Brown

Is the Minister aware that the disease to which the Question refers was mentioned in 1946, and that we then had a partial promise that it would be included in subsequent regulations or the schedule and that these men would, therefore, get compensation? Is he further aware that this disease is on the increase among the mining fraternity?

Mr. Peake

I cannot be made responsible for any Questions answered by my predecessor at this Box in 1946. As to the second part of the Question, I am assured by my medical advisers that this disease is primarily constitutional in origin.

Dr. Stross

Would the Minister bear in mind that those of us who have been most concerned with this type of ailment or condition are satisfied that he is being wrongly advised and that in addition to a constitutional factor, when we consider the histories carefully we find that there is always a precipitating factor due to injury? May I send him details of the case of a dancing master who suffers from it, the cause being that he used a file constantly for two years in another occupation at the age of 20?

Mr. Peake

I shall certainly be quite happy to receive details of that case.