§ House again in Committee (according to Order):
§ [THE LORD STANMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:
§ Additional injuries and damage in respect of which compensation may be paid.
§ (2) The injuries falling within this section are physical injuries sustained on or after the third day of September, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, at sea or in any other tidal water or in the waters of any harbour, and attributable to—
- (a) the taking of measures with a view to avoiding, preventing or hindering enemy action against ships, or as a precaution in anticipation of enemy action against ships, or for rescue or salvage purposes in con-sequence of enemy action against ships; or
- (b) the absence, by reason of circumstances connected with any war in which His Majesty may be engaged, of any aid to navigation for ships, or of any warning of danger to ships, being an aid or warning which would be normal in time of peace; or
- (c) the carriage, by reason of circumstances connected with any such war as aforesaid, of any cargo in a manner which would be abnormal in time of peace and involves danger to the ship in which the cargo is carried or to her crew,
§ Provided that in relation to injuries, loss or damage sustained in the waters of a harbour the measures specified in paragraph (a)of this subsection do not include the prohibition or restriction of lights other than navigational lights.
§ Debate resumed on the Amendment, moved on Tuesday, June 23, by the Earl of Cork and Orrery—namely, to insert in subsection (2), after paragraph (c), "(ii) tuberculosis due to war conditions."
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VIS-COUNT SIMON)
The Committee will remember that on the last occasion when we had this Bill before us my noble and gallant friend Lord Cork and Orrery moved an Amendment the object of which was to make it plain on the face of the Bill that tuberculosis would not be excluded from the benefits of the Bill on the ground that tuberculosis was supposed not to be a physical injury. I ventured to express the view that it was a physical injury, but it was clear from the debate which then took place that a number of members of your Lordships' House would like the Bill to be to some extent recast in this particular, and desiring as I always do, like a good Parliamentarian, to meet the wishes of the House when I can in such a matter, I have been at pains with the Ministry of Pensions to see whether suitable Amendments cannot be devised.
There were, I think, some objections—it is not surprising that there should be—to adopting the exact words which the noble and gallant Earl proposed, but of course he was raising a matter of sub-stance, and I have grounds for hoping that what I now suggest will meet the difficulty which he and others felt. The Amendment Paper which is before your Lordships will show what my proposals are, and if my noble friend would see fit 615 to withdraw his Amendment which was moved in page 2, line 13, and is the one now before the Committee, what I should propose is to make these changes in the Bill. Perhaps I may take the second one first. I put this in as a separate clause:5. For the removal of doubt it is hereby declared that the expression 'physical injury,' in the principal Act and in this Act, and in the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, includes tuberculosis and any other organic disease, and the aggravation thereof.That I think is a very satisfactory form of words, if I may presume to say so, because it does two things which would not have been quite so cleanly done by the original Amendment. For one thing it makes it quite plain that if we do mention tuberculosis we are not by implication excluding any other disease, which was a great anxiety of the Ministry of Pensions, who do not wish to limit the clause to the case of tuberculosis. The other advantage is, as the Committee will see, that we make the Amendment not only in this Act but also in the previous Act and in the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, so that it is a change which covers the whole field. I venture to think that that proposal is likely to commend itself to the Committee.
The other proposal, which I think was more particularly urged by my noble and learned friend Lord Maugham, is an insertion at the end of Clause 1 of the Bill. Clause 1 of the Bill in subsection (2) describes the circumstances in which injuries which are physical injuries sustained by mariners may come in for pensions. They are described as being attributable to one of three circumstances, (a), (b) and (c). I am quite free to admit that these descriptions took a good deal of examination, and I can quite see the advantage of having more general words which will remove any doubt that in trying to find a way through this thing we have left perhaps some case that is not covered, so I propose to add after (a), (b) and (c)—(d) the existence on board ship of any other conditions arising out of any such war as aforesaid which would be abnormal in time of peace.That, I think, completely gets rid of the suspicion and fear that in picking out certain classes of case in those three paragraphs we might leave some other cases not covered. I am very glad to have the opportunity of making that proposal. If 616 my noble and gallant friend thinks that these proposals meet his desires, as I think they ought to do very fully, and if other members of the Committee take the same view, I hope he will withdraw his Amendment and allow me to move the Amendments I have just described.
THE EARL OF CORK AND ORRERY
When your Lordships adjourned the consideration of the Amendment which stood in my name on Tuesday, June 23, it was understood that I was privileged to go to the Ministry of Pensions when the rewording of the new Amendment was made. I did go there last Friday and I would like to bear witness to the very handsome way in which I was received. I was presented with the text of the Amendments which now stand in the name of the Government, and I had no hesitation at all, as they went further than I had suggested, in saying that I was very glad as far as I was concerned to accept that wording. I do not think there is a question that the adding of the Amendments, now to be moved by the Lord Chancellor, will improve the Bill, and I certainly think that the fact that these generous Amendments have been added shows that the hearts of those who originally opposed the Amendments are in the right place. But in view of the reflections which were passed on the intelligence of some noble Lords who could not quite read in the Bill as it originally stood that tuberculosis was covered, I venture to think that those noble Lords who supported the Amendment showed that both their hearts and their heads were in the right place. I should like to thank the Government in the name of those Peers for their action in this matter, and I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment which stands in my name.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR moved, in subsection (1), after paragraph (c), to insert:
(d) the existence on board ship of any other conditions arising out of any such war as aforesaid which would be abnormal in time of peace,
§ The noble and learned Viscount said: I beg to move.
Clause 1, page 2, line 13, at end insert the said paragraph (d).—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ LORD ADDISON
I should like to add my tribute to the work which the noble and learned Lord Chancellor has done between our previous debate and now, and to the skilful and whole-hearted way in which he has met the declared wishes of the House. I know that, as an old Parliamentary hand, he would associate with me in paying a tribute to the pertinacity and enthusiasm of the noble and gallant Earl——
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
Page 2, line 22, leave out ("or in paragraph (c)") and insert ("in paragraph (c) or in paragraph (d)").—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 2 to 4 agreed to.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR moved, after Clause 4, to insert the following new clause:
§ Meaning of "physical injury."
§ 5. For the removal of doubt it is hereby declared that the expression "physical injury", in the principal Act and in this Act, and in the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, includes tuberculosis and any other organic disease, and tie aggravation thereof.
§ The noble and learned Viscount said: I beg to move.618
Page 6, line 6, after Clause 4, insert the said new clause.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to. Remaining clauses agreed to.
§ Schedule agreed to.
An Act to amend the Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act, 1939, as respects mariners and other seafaring persons; and to make a consequential amendment of Section three of the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR moved to leave out from "seafaring persons" to the end and insert:
to explain the meaning of 'physical injury' in that Act and in the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939; and to make a consequential amendment of Section three of the last-mentioned Act.
The noble and learned Viscount said: It is necessary to make this change in order that there shall be no doubt, when the matter returns to another place, that we have not in this House gone beyond the actual Title of the Bill.
Leave out from ("seafaring persons") to the end and insert the said new words.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Title, as amended, agreed to.