HL Deb 12 June 1973 vol 343 cc652-84

9.2 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the House do again resolve itself into a Committee on the Social Security Bill.

Moved, That the House do again resolve itself into a Committee on the said Bill.—(Lord Aberdare.)


My Lords, before we resolve ourselves into a Committee on the Social Security Bill, I think we ought to lodge a complaint about the way in which these Bills are being dealt with. We have considerable discussion about the number of days that are to be devoted to the various items of business. Yesterday was supposed to be a day devoted to the Water Bill, and then we found, for reasons no one had learned about, that we had an adjournment and a certain amount of time was wasted. A piece of legislation, instead of being taken at dinner time, was taken out of the time otherwise allocated to the Water Bill. Then, to-day, when it was understood that we should have half-an-hour or three-quarters of an hour on other business, we find we have taken some two hours. This is not good enough. We have not allocated a day to the Social Security Bill. We have allocated only part of a day, and I think it is unreasonable and unfair, having had this diversion on other business, that we should be expected to sit late and make up for it.


My Lords, my sympathies are all with the noble Lord opposite because I, too, was expecting that we should have resumed this debate rather earlier. But there are unforeseeable events which happen in your Lordships' House, and it is awfully difficult to predict what is going to happen. As a matter of fact, I thought that we were going to spend the best part of to-day on the Social Security Bill—until about half-past ten, anyway. We have been making very good progress. I do not think there are many big debates to follow, and I hope we can now get on with it. Perhaps we could try to do better in the future.


But, my Lords, may we have an undertaking from the noble Lord, the Deputy Leader of the House, that we shall not go on later this evening than otherwise we would have done, and that, if necessary, a further day will be found for the consideration of this Bill?


My Lords, certainly I think we should talk about that later on; but if we look like exceeding the hour of 10.30 we ought to think twice.

House again in Committee.

THE COUNTESS OF LOUDOUN moved Amendment No. 35:

After Clause 20 insert the following new clause:

Inactive housewives allowance

—(1) A woman who is an inactive housewife shall be entitled to an invalid mother's allowance at the weekly rate specified in Part I of Schedule 4 to this Act if—

  1. (a) she is entitled to invalidity benefit under section 11 of this Act and to an increase in that benefit under section 31(1) in relation to a child dependant; or
  2. 654
  3. (b) she is entitled to a widowed mother's allowance under section 20(1)(a) of this Act or would be so entitled but for the proviso in section 20(3) regarding co-habitation; or
  4. (c)she is a married woman who would be entitled to a widowed mother's allowance under section 20(1)(a) of this Act if her husband were no longer alive; or
  5. (d)being divorced she is entitled to a child's special allowance under section 29 of this Act or would be so entitled but for the proviso in that section regarding co-habitation.

(2)In this section "inactive housewife" means a woman who—

  1. (a)is entitled to an attendance allowance under section 15 of this Act; or
  2. (b)not being entitled to an attendance allowance, is wholly or predominantly prevented by physical or mental handicap from carrying out her normal household duties.

(3)Subject to subsection (1) above, the period for which invalid mother's allowance is payable to any woman shall be that specified in a certificate issued in respect of her by the Attendance Allowance Board as being—

  1. (a)a period throughout which she has been or is likely to be an inactive housewife; and
  2. (b)a period immediately preceded by one of not less than 6 months throughout which she has been an inactive housewife."

The noble Countess said: I had hoped to support the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Bristol in this Amendment, but in his absence I hope your Lordships will forgive me if I take a few minutes to explain a little about the people we are trying to help and ask the Minister to have another long look at the problems of disabled housewives. They include disabled mothers, whom this Amendment seeks to help. People disabled through an injury at work are favourably treated, not only by receiving a disablement pension on top of normal National Insurance benefits, but also by having a more extensive scale of attendance allowances. Normal National Insurance benefits depend on a contribution record, but industrial injury benefits do not. This results in many of the civilian disabled being ineligible for invalidity benefits: those disabled from childhood and never able to work; those disabled early in their working life; married women whose work is in the home or who, if employed, rely on their husband's insurance. At the moment only the new attendance allowance is available to all who need it regardless of contributions or means, and it is of course tax free.

But what of the disabled housewife? A housewife is usually defined as a person, other than domestic servant, who does most of the domestic chores, or would do most of them if not prevented by disability. Household chores are taken to be cooking, housework and shopping. Housewives who can do two out of three of these chores are usually defined as active. Those who can do only one, or none, are defined as non-active. According to the figures given in the Government's Social Survey and reported in Handicapped and Impaired in Great Britain, there are about 488,000 non-active housewives living at home of whom about 185,000 are very severely, severely or appreciably handicapped physically. These figures include women of all ages, married and unmarried; women with dependent children and women without. Depending on the interpretation the Attendance Board placed on the meaning of subsection (2)(b), this new clause would help nearly all mothers of dependent children as defined for the purposes of the Family Allowances Act, if they were so physically or mentally handicapped that they were prevented from doing all but a small part of their normal household duties.

But what of the plight of the disabled single woman with dependent children who would not qualify for an invalid mother's allowance under the new clause unless she already received an invalidity pension in her own right? Even worse off is the disabled single woman who has no children. Can the Government have another look at the plight of these people and perhaps give them some hope for the future? The number of women who would benefit from this new clause would not be enormous—about 50,000—but if our Amendment were accepted it would be a first step in the right direction. I beg to move.


I should like to support my noble kinswoman, the Countess of Loudoun, in this Amendment. It will benefit a small number of people who nevertheless form an important section of the community. I hope the Government will feel able to give this Amendment sympathetic attention.


I should like to support the two previous speakers and I sincerely hope that a noble Lord will support this Amendment. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, who is in the same situation as myself with young children, will agree that it is important to keep the family together. Perhaps extra monetary support might do this. Recently, I have been saddened to hear of many young married women with children being left by their husbands. In our modern society this is becoming more and more prevalent. I hope sincerely that the Government will consider the housewife as a matter of priority.


I shall be bold enough, as a husband, to say something on this Amendment. I think part of the trouble is that a housewife who looks after the home and the family is not assumed to be working. I can only wonder what would be the effect on this House if all our wives gave up looking after our homes and families. I think the attendance here might be even thinner than it is at the present time.

I am not a disabled wife, but I am at times a disabled husband without a wife. There are times when my wife has to stay up in Yorkshire, looking after the family, and I come down here alone as I did yesterday. I had to get my own breakfast: I had to lay the table and then wash up afterwards and it took me a very long time. A few of the disabled wives do get the attendance allowance but it is not enough to provide for the care of the disabled wife and for the work that she cannot do. There are times when a husband has to give up working in order to look after his disabled wife, the alternative being that the wife would have to go into an institution and the family be broken up. It seems to me to be a family disaster when the husband has to give up working in order to look after his disabled wife, so therefore I warmly support this Amendment.


I have great sympathy with what has been said by the noble Countess, Lady Loudoun, in moving this Amendment and those who have supported it. It is difficult for me to make the same speech again as I have already made on other occasions in the course of this afternoon, but again we are here coming into contact with a very deserving class of people who are disabled and are housewives. We have previously had to consider the case which was so persuasively put by the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, for those who attend their disabled relatives and who give up their careers to do so. We have considered the case of the disabled themselves who would be in a position to earn but who lose their invalidity benefit if they do. Now we have the case of the disabled housewife. All these cases are very strong and I have great sympathy with them, but all must, I am afraid, come within the general review which I have already mentioned. I do not wish to labour it, but this is the position and the case of the disabled housewife is a very good one. However, again it falls within the question of priorities and what we do first within the resources that we have. I hope the noble Countess will agree, having put her case strongly, that we should take it into account and I will see that it is considered—indeed it is already being considered—in the course of the review that is being conducted.

The reason why there has not been provision so far in the National Insurance scheme is because the scheme has always been based on loss of earnings and obviously the housewife has no earnings to lose. But at least we have moved forward; we have nowadays the attendance allowance, which is a non-contributory allowance and at least is a start in the right direction. I hope it will be accepted as an earnest of good intentions for the future, as will indeed the statements which are made on so many occasions by my right honourable friend when he wants to do more to help these particular categories of people. The attendance allowance is now being paid to about 90,000 people, including 20,000 children. It has been extended from June 4, on the reduced basis, to those who need attention, either by night or by day, who are adult, and we are extending it again to children from October 1. So we are moving ahead. As I mentioned earlier, since 1970 £100 million more will be devoted to the needs of the disabled by 1974–1975. It is a matter of priorities. But I can assure the noble Countess that the problems of disabled women with children are being closely studied, although we are anxious not to put forward recommendations which might create anomalies or even add to the distress of that section of the population.

There are strong emotive and psychological reasons for not wishing to favour disabled women with children compared with other disabled women whose disability might be of such an extent that they are unable to have children. Although there is no doubt that the presence of young children in the household for which a woman is responsible can add greatly to the burden on the disabled housewife, in many cases the presence of children can be a positive boon to the mother, not only in terms of emotional satisfaction but also in assisting a family in the performance of household duties. The type of benefit that has been suggested by the noble Countess, by its very nature, would be withdrawn from the mother when there is no longer a child in the family. That could cause a great deal of mental distress when it was withdrawn, just at the time when the mother perhaps needs extra help because her now adult family are leaving home. These are all problems that need thorough investigation and a thorough thinking out before we come to any conclusion on exactly what might be the best way of helping the disabled housewife. All I can promise is that that is exactly what we are doing, and I hope that the noble Countess will accept my assurance that this is going ahead.


Before the noble Countess speaks, may I say that I should not like it to be thought that we from these Benches do not entirely support the Amendment. On a personal basis, I was one of the people responsible for the original formation of the Disabled Incomes Group. I remember so clearly—leaving aside any emotive qualities which this Amendment may have—that we found that young mothers were actually detained in hospitals and their children taken into care because they could not care for them, resulting in a much more costly operation to the State. One of the things we do not take enough account of, apart from the emotional tie, is the fact that if you retain the mother in her home with her children it is, in the end, a much cheaper operation. I realise that the noble Lord is concerned with this review which has to take place. I should like strongly to support this Amendment because this is a section of the community which is in urgent need of care. This Amendment would go a long way to helping that very small section who are in dire need.


I should just like to thank the Minister and all the noble Lords and Ladies who have supported me. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

BARONESS PHILLIPS had given Notice of her intention to move Amendment No. 33. Page 32, line 31, leave out from ("remarriage") to end of line 32.

The noble Baroness said: We are back to the problem of remarriage and cohabitation, and as I did not get very far before I shall not weary your Lordships with this point but perhaps return to it on Report. The Amendment is not moved.

Clauses 21 to 24 agreed to.

Schedule 8 agreed to.

Clause 25 agreed to.

Clause 26 (Supplementary provisions as to Category A and B retirement pensions.)

On Question, Whether Clause 26 shall stand part of the Bill?


I am one of those who have cause to regret that this clause comes on so late in the evening, because I know that if it had come earlier I would have had considerable support from the other side of the House as well as this side; but I know there are still a number of people here who will strongly support me on it.

My purpose in moving the deletion of this clause is to urge the Government to abolish the earnings rule, whereby a retired man up to the age of 70 or a woman up to the age of 65 may not earn more than so much before their pension is reduced or taken away altogether. As I think the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, knows, I have the honour to be President of the Pre-Retirement Association. What we do is to draw attention to the need to provide education for people before they retire in order to prepare them for retirement. We make suggestions on how to manage money, how to keep fit, on hobbies and so on, and we encourage those who retire to take jobs. We proselytise, we exhort firms and local authorities, we provide courses of certain kinds, and we make available to those who want it our considerable knowledge of how people may best prepare for retirement.

To some, it may seem strange to have an association whose whole purpose is to help people prepare for retirement. That would be because it is not yet widely recognised what a significant, traumatic and often drastic change retirement can bring to those who are not prepared for it. It brings about a complete change of existence at a time of life when it is notoriously difficult to adapt to change. After a person has been, in effect, institutionalised by perhaps 50 years in a job it is very difficult indeed, to put it mildly, to get used to not working. Work is usually a kind of social activity as much as it is a productive one, and retired people not only lose their job but their friends with it. Many of them miss the regularity and order in their lives which a job brings. All but the luckiest are affected by a reduction in income. Wives come under strain, too, wondering what to do with a man about the house all day. One of my friends who is near retirement was told by his wife, "Remember, I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch".

We should also be aware that a job can be therapeutic, in the sense that it gives a purpose in life to take one outside oneself. One wise doctor, a specialist in geriatrics, told me that illness tends to fill the gap formerly occupied by the job. As is well known, a number of people die very soon after retirement. But what is not counted is the number who fall ill constantly and chronically. At the Second Reading of the Bill the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, quoted a figure of £150 million which it was said it would cost the Exchequer to abolish the earnings rule. How that figure is arrived at I have not yet discovered. But another figure should be produced—it might be the same, it might be many times greater—of what it costs the Health Service to minister to the needs of the psychosomatic sicknesses of the elderly who are discouraged from working, when the whole of their up-bringing, their education and training has taught them to have a job. On top of that, of course, should be added the loss in tax on earnings which—if it were not for the earnings rule—the pensioners could provide out of their extra incomes, and the extra spending power. I wonder whether the Government have included that in their figure?

I do not want to risk going on for a long time on a subject in which I have been deeply involved for many years, and in which my noble friend Lady Phillips has been involved for even longer, but I must try and impress on the Government, with all the force I can, that the earnings rule has an evil effect on retired people. It also seems to me that the earnings rule acts as a highly inequitable, confiscatory tax. Where, I wonder, is the morality in arbitrarily removing a pension they have earned and to which they have probably compulsorily contributed? Any other section of the community would be up in arms about it.

As the whole matter of pensions is tangled and muddy I do not want to pursue that particular point now. What I must try to do is to convey to your Lordships this firm belief, that over 12 per cent. of the population is over retiring age and the proportion is increasing; and the way to help them to be contented, healthy, and not penurious is to encourage them, or those of them who wish to do so, to stay in what is known as "gainful employment". The earnings rule does exactly the opposite. For whatever purpose it was originally instituted it is now, in my view, an anachronism and a bad rule, and I beg leave to move my Amendment that this clause be left out.

9.27 p.m.


I should very much like to support the noble Lord. From these Benches we have long advocated the abolition of the earnings rule, though without any effect at all. May I return to a previous charge made last year which received an answer from the noble Lord's Department, but an answer which did not in the least satisfy me. If it be really impossible to get rid of the earnings rule as a whole, is it really impossible to aggregate the amount the earnings rule permits? I mean by this, that £9.50 is the figured permitted in the clause here; that is £500 a year. If you will allow the retired person to earn only £500, why cannot it be £500 in the whole of the year and not £9.50 a week? with longer holidays it would be surely to everybody's advantage to have a pool of recently retired people who could come back into employment, say in the summer months when holidays occur and could earn £300, £400, or £500 a year without any reduction of pension if it was possible to aggregate over a year, instead of on a weekly basis, the amount allowed before deduction under the earnings rule. This would be a way of dealing with production needs during the holiday period, epidemics, and pressure periods of seasonal excess demand for labour. In addition it would make the pensioner feel needed which is what people of retirement age require more than anything else. It would give them a highly desirable addition to their income, and I find it extremely difficult to understand why this cannot be done. I suspect that it is administrative inconvenience; but we never should accept administrative inconvenience as a reason for not implementing some policy.


I should like to support what the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, has just said about a spreading over of income earned by retired people (whether they are disabled or otherwise, although we are talking about disabled people now), which would enable them to earn, let us say in seasonal employment, enough to tide them over for quite a long time. It seems to me that that really could be done without a great deal of difficulty in regard to administration. I entirely support the noble Baroness when she says that we can get too much tied up by administration, which costs a great deal of money when we might save quite a lot of money by breaking down some of this administration and doing some things a little more originally.

I hope that the Minister, who is himself a most original and excellent person in always trying to do new things, will look upon this as one thing which as a new principle could be put into the Bill. Why not? It is a good one, and it would enable people to earn money and to spread it over a period, as is suggested by the noble Baroness. I strongly support this Amendment.


I should like to support the noble Lord, Lord Raglan. I should like to press one sentence which I may or may not remember quite rightly but it was more or less in this form. The noble Lord, Lord Raglan, says that this earnings rule discourages elderly people—or as I am not ashamed to say now, old people—entering gainful employment. Is that the Government's policy—to discourage what we have been told is 12 per cent. of the population from gainful employment? The noble Lord with dutiful charity treated the matter a little more therapeutically than I do. Speaking on behalf of the old, I do not feel quite that need for wealth or active therapy, but the fact is that old people are certainly capable of rendering a service to the community. No doubt the noble Lord has recently looked up the work of Cicero on old age, written when he was 62 but put into the mouth of the elderly Plato who was supposed to be 84; at any rate, whether he was thinking of old age beginning at 62 or 84 it was Cicero's view that old people could be more useful than young people because they had so much influence.

Well, whether it is influence in community service or wherever you like to put it, there are these old people. If I may say so with great respect to my leader whom I am trying to follow, I do not think they are all on the point of having a nervous breakdown through inanition. I simply feel that they could render very good service and it is rather disgraceful that they should be discouraged from doing so. Of course, in this House we have not a very dispassionate view of this. This is the finest geriatric institution in the world, with only very moderate financial reward. We are able to come here, make speeches and feel we are as young as ever—in fact, what Cicero would call infants. I hope I have said enough to show that I am entirely behind the noble Lord in leaving out that slightly patronising reference. I think his main point is absolutely irrefutable; it is socially criminal to waste the efforts here by, in effect, trying to stop them from working.


I hope that the Government will begin to appreciate that the case for ignoring earnings is a question that is going to have to be met before very long. The noble Lord has indicated the price of abolishing it. I read with interest the debate in the other place and I think we ought to have from him a clear statement as to whether in computing that figure the Government have taken into account the very considerable sums of money that local government is spending in trying to keep elderly people healthy. I know it is the very considerable concern of the local authority on which I serve, as it is of every other local authority that has to deal with the problem of ensuring that the elderly are kept as healthy as they can be. Allowing people to continue at work without penalising them in the way that they are penalised at present is the most positive and constructive way of helping to keep them healthy. My noble friend, Lord Raglan, is absolutely right about this. We are wasting a tremendous amount of money on people who have retired and who, because they have retired, begin to go to pieces.

It is not only a matter of what local government is spending on them. If the earnings rule were ignored, the Government would gain substantially by way of income tax. I took the point that the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, made about administrative inconvenience. I cannot believe that that could be a reason, or that anybody would possibly think that that could be a reason. There must be a tremendous amount of administrative work in computing the money that people can be given. I find myself in full agreement with the noble Baroness, Lady Elliot, and it is time that that point was seized. That, again, is another cost which ought to be offset against the £150 million about which the noble Lord has spoken.

Again and again this evening, the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has been placed in what I feel is a position of acute embarrassment. He has had to resist every appeal that money earned ought not to be taken into consideration in regard to entitlement to benefit. I am sure that his heart, and I rather think his mind as well, has been with those who have been trying to impress upon the Government that the time has come for a new look, particularly at this time when this Bill is going through. I very much hope that before the Bill leaves this place we shall, at least, have secured some improvement, even if we cannot get the whole matter agreed to. I hope that at some stage we shall move an Amendment which the Committee will insist on carrying. I appreciate that the noble Lord will say, "We are studying the matter, but if you start here or there you will be creating an anomaly." But that is the way that progress is often made; and because we create an anomaly we then set about trying to achieve justice. I sincerely hope that as a result of this discussion we shall give further thought to the matter and come back to the whole business, and to the other points that have been raised, at a later stage of the Bill.


We have had another debate on the earnings rule. The earnings rule is not popular with anybody and it has never been popular with any Government. It is very difficult to defend, and nobody has ever defended it except on grounds of priorities. The reason why it was introduced and the reason why it stands is that it reinforces the retirement condition on which the pension has hitherto always been based. It has always been a retirement pension and not an old age pension. May I say that the noble Earl, Lord Longford, has the secret of eternal youth, and I do not look upon him as either elderly or old. But, certainly, the pension has always been considered a retirement pension. We have always kept the earnings rule under constant review. From time to time we have made relaxations in it, and further relaxations between now and the appointed day, which is, after all, in 1975, are certainly not ruled out.

The Bill itself contains power, in Clause 38(8) and Schedule 11, to alter the operation of the earnings rule by order at the time of an uprating. But the present situation is that under Clause 26 the pension is to be reduced by 5p for each 10p of earnings, after deduction of reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the employment, between £9.50 and £13.50, and 5p for each 5p thereafter. The real reason why no one has yet found it possible to abolish the rule is simply the cost. I think the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, said that I mentioned a figure of £150 million. I hope I did not say that, because the figure is £115 million, and I hope that that is the figure I gave on the previous occasion. That is the figure which we estimate it would cost the fund in the first year at current benefit rates, reducing to £65 million a year after five years or so, assuming that the present retirement trend continues. This amount of money would be required, of course, to pay full retirement pensions to people who had decided to go on working, and against whom the rule was operative; so that in effect we should be putting most of this extra money into the hands of those pensioners who are in fact better off already by virtue of the fact that they have been able to carry on work more or less on a full-time basis.

I feel that if we were able to save the Fund figures of this size, your Lordships would feel that there are other priorities that really should come first. Only this afternoon—and perhaps I may just finish this point before I give way to the noble Lord—we heard the noble Lord, Lord Crawshaw, appealing for this very earnings rule to be accepted in the case of the disabled. They would be happy to have just this. I am not sure that, if I was asked where my priorities would lie if I had a few million pounds that I could spend from the National Insurance Fund. I would not be inclined to put it in the way of my noble friends who sit on my right, on the mobile Bench, much sympathy as I have, indeed, with the noble Lord. Lord Raglan—and let me say how much I admire the work he does for those who retire. But I really think this is a matter of priorities. There are fairly substantial sums of money involved. I am talking about the money in the National Insurance Fund. I think it impossible to compute whether there are other savings in social services. It is a very difficult thing to predict. All I know is that, if we relax the rule, most of the extra money goes into the pockets of those people who are at the moment working and are now affected by the rule, and these are not the people of whom the noble Lord, Lord Garnsworthy, was thinking, whom the social services have to try to help. Those are my reasons for reiterating once again our reluctance to change this rule, much as all of us may feel it would be nice to do so. It is simply a matter of priorities.


Does the noble Lord accept this point, that at the moment it is the people who are better off who can afford to ignore the earnings rule, and that the people it affects most deeply are the poorer in the community?


May I ask, just as a matter of interest, whether it is really any use talking about priorities when the whole of these Amendments and, as we think, improvements to this Bill are being rejected? There is no priority in rejection, is there?


I think I should start at the point on which the noble Lord, Lord Platt, has just commented. Certainly the Minister appears sympathetic to every one of the Amendments, but so far he has not accepted any of them; so the question of priorities really does not arise. On the question of money, I am informed that in the National Insurance Fund in 1971 there was a surplus of £57½ million. That would be quite useful to put towards one of the priorities. So far as the retirement rule is concerned, I do not describe them, of course, as elderly, because this is the group of 60 to 65 and 65 to 70, immediately after retirement. We are not talking about somebody who is living on a consultancy fee of £40,000 a year, because if he had capital this would not be criticised; he could have it. It is the little woman who is washing up cups in the Strand Palace Hotel: that is the kind of person we are talking about; who, because she goes out to work and earns £10 a week, has to repay 50p of her pension. This is a squalid operation which cannot be justified by anyone. Exactly the same arguments were put forward about the widows. Not very long ago there was an earnings rule in regard to widows. It was taken off. The Fund did not collapse; the country did not collapse. Somehow we found a way to come through it. This woman of 61 is asked to pay full prescription charges. She gets no opportunity to get free prescriptions. The Government cannot have it both ways. Either one is in full retirement, with all its benefits, or if retired and willing to work one should get the benefit of it. After all, this is a meagre pension. The richer we get the smaller it becomes. We gave ten shillings years ago when the average wage was about thirty shillings. Now that wages have reached about £40 we are giving £6.75 to elderly people. If anyone has the energy or enthusiasm to go to work I think they should be encouraged and not discouraged. I feel strongly about this. I hope the Government will accept this Amendment and I should like to see the Committee divide on the Question.


It is a little unreasonable to move to leave out a whole clause to put right one part of it. There are other subsections which are important. I hope that the noble Lord will not go so far as to have a Division on this particular clause. If he wanted to change the retirement rules he might have thought of putting down an Amendment to that. To move out the clause is a little unreasonable. I have put the case as clearly as I can. It is entirely a matter of priorities. I think it is unreasonable to suggest that because I have talked only of priorities that is the end of the matter. The fact is that the Insurance Fund is fairly heavily committed and in order to find new money one must put up the contributions or increase the contributions from the Exchequer. Our record in this field, as I have said over and over again, is absolutely first class. We have given £100 million more a year to help the disabled as compared with 1970; we have increased other provisions and there is plenty more we can do, but it is a matter of priorities. With the best will in the world and taking into account that the noble Lord, Lord Crawshaw, wanted this same rule for the disabled—and I give that higher priority—I do not think it reasonable to press this Amendment when it entails a whole clause.


The noble Lord has not even said that he will consider it. If we remove this clause now, the Government can always put back the necessary bits later. I think it might be a simple operation. As the noble Lord has not moved in our direction in any way at all, we on this side are bound to divide.

On Question, Whether Clause 26 shall stand part of the Bill?

Their Lordships divided, Contents, 26; Not-Contents, 25.

Resolved in the affirmative and Clause 26 agreed to accordingly.


Is the noble Earl, the Lord Chairman, aware that there were at least two noble Lords in the Not-Contents Lobby who were a little undecided as to whether they were in fact to be counted?


My duty is to inform your Lordships of the result of the Division.


There were six people in the other Lobby who did not know what they were doing.

Clauses 27 to 29 agreed to.

Clause 30 [Death grant]:

LORD ABERDARE: Amendment No. 37 has already been discussed. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 42, line 15, after ("section") insert ("and in that Part of the Schedule").—(Lord Aberdare.)


I did not quite get what the noble Lord said. Perhaps he would explain what this Amendment does. I just heard a mumble and was not certain what the explanation was.


My noble friend Lord Gowrie spoke to this Amendment on an earlier Amendment, No. 21. The Amendment extends the description of the deceased to the Schedule as well as the clause and enables the Schedule to be shortened and simplified.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 30, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 9 agreed to.

Clauses 31 to 33 agreed to.

Clause 34 [Increase of certain short-term benefits in respect of adult dependants]:


This is a drafting Amendment to correct a wrong cross-reference. I beg to move.

Amendment moved Page 46, line 42, leave out ("by virtue of section 10(8)") and insert ("under section 10(2)(b) or (c)")—(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 34, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 35 agreed to.

10 p.m.

BARONESS SEEAR moved Amendment No. 40:

After Clause 35, insert the following new clause:

Report on needs of chronically sick

" The Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament on or before 30th April 1974 or such later date as may be approved by resolution of each House of Parliament a report on what amendments are needed in the law relating to social security to meet the special needs of chronically sick and disabled persons (including categories of such persons not at present entitled to benefit hereunder)."

The noble Baroness said: No doubt the Committee will feel that this subject has already been fully discussed, and I certainly do not intend to make a long speech in support of this Amendment.

However, I should like to make two points. First, I should like to underline what has been said previously this evening: it is disastrous that from this Bill—a new Bill with which we shall probably live for decades—this subject of the disabled should have been omitted. It is a reflection on the thinking of the Government that they could have produced a Bill of this sort and failed to be ready with provision for the disabled. While we appreciate what the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has said about a review being in progress, there is no good reason why such a review should not have been completed in time for the insertion in this new Social Security Bill of adequate provision for a small, extremely important and unquestionably needy group of the disabled. There has been a good deal of pressure, and public opinion is that something should be done in this field.

My second point is that we all accept what the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has said about a review being undertaken. We all know—and we have been reminded this afternoon—that reviews can go on and on, and that research can never be completed: indeed it is one of the rules that it never should be completed. It is all too easy to say that we must wait until the review is produced. It will never be finished, and so we believe it is necessary to have a deadline. We would rather have an incomplete review reported to the House by an agreed date than to be told that there is a review in progress and that we must wait indefinitely. That is why in this Amendment we have asked that the Government should report to Parliament by April 30, 1974, the position with regard to the review undertaken of the disabled and what proposals they intend to make. It is because we feel that some proposals should be made in this new Social Security Bill and that a deadline should be secured that, despite the late hour, I am moving this Amendment.


I should like to support the noble Baroness on this Amendment, which I do not believe would cost very much money. The noble Lord has already told the House several times that the review is under way. A report which is clear and can be understood by everyone should be laid before Parliament. I personally find social security matters very complicated but a report would make it evident that provision for the disabled ought to be incorporated in this Bill. If the Government do not accept this Amendment I feel that their attitude to-night will show the country that they seem to treat the disabled as second-class citizens and that they are a long way down on the list of priorities. I am sure that this is not really so. The noble Lord understands all the problems of the disabled so well, and I am sure that by accepting this Amendment he will show the Committee that he really means to do something for the future. I hope the noble Lord will consider this and give us a date for this report.


If I may, I should like to say just a few words about my own position. I am very lucky in many respects, one of which being that I contracted poliomyelitis when I was in the Army in Egypt just after the end of the war. For that reason I have been given a very generous pension. But I might just as easily have contracted the disease when I was at school, or I might have been born with some congenital disease—in which case my need would have been no greater and no less than it is in the circumstances in which I became disabled. I would ask your Lordships to consider whether disability payment should not be based on need rather than on the particular circumstances in which one's disability was acquired.

Also, this review is needed for another reason: being disabled is quite an expensive business. Disabled persons need extra clothing, extra heating, and they need to have their house adapted. There are a great many things they cannot do for themselves, and they either need to have a very nice wife, as I have, or must pay someone else to do things for them. I hope that the Government will be able to produce this report. I feel the needs of disabled people merit special attention, and I hope that we shall be given a date for the report in the not too distant future.


This Amendment is very similar to an Amendment that was debated in another place, both in Committee and on Report stage. It was very fully debated. I am sorry if I cannot go any farther than my right honourable friend and my honourable friend were able to go on that occasion. I certainly do not accept what the noble Baroness, Lady Masham of Ilton, said, that by not accepting this Amendment we are treating the disabled as second-class citizens. That I would never accept. I should have thought our record in the field of help for the disabled belied that remark and I am sorry that she made it. So far as the Amendment itself is concerned, it is difficult to list all the improvements that one thinks are necessary for one particular group of people, however much one values their lives, and however much one wishes to he helpful. There are so many other cases of people who deserve help under this Social Security Bill. We have heard them all as we have gone along to-day: the widows, the daughters looking after their parents, widowers, married women and their shorter-term benefits, earlier retirement, the earnings rule, the basic pension itself, which the disabled income group themselves place very high on their list of priorities.

There is no dispute in principle. The need for further progress is clear. I can repeat again what the Secretary of State had said elsewhere: we are anxious to make progress as soon as possible and in the best way possible. Our doubts are whether we shall get very far by agreeing to make a list of what Amendments are needed in the law relating to social security by a certain date to meet certain special needs. I have a fear that any such report by such a given date might easily be incomplete. It would be very difficult to go back to Parliament and ask for an extension. It might raise all sorts of false hopes when there are no resources available to meet the particular requirements that might be needed to put into such a report. I do not think this would be helpful in achieving what we all want to achieve, which is better pro

Beswick, L. Hughes, L. Raglan, L.
Champion, L. Ingleby, V. Rankeillour, L.
Crawshaw, L. Kennet, L. Seear, B. [Teller.]
Darcy (de Knayth), B. Longford, E. Segal, L.
Garnsworthy, L. Masham of Ilton, B. Serota, B.
Greenway, L. Milner of Leeds, L. Shepherd, L. [Teller.]
Hanwarth, V. Phillips, B. Terrington, L.
Hoy, L. Platt, L. Wise, L.

vision for the disabled. I have already pledged my right honourable friend's and my own word that the review is going ahead; it is being actively pursued. I do not think that diverting energies into the production of a report by a certain date is going to help this process. Much as I respect the motives that underlie the Amendment, I am not able to recommend your Lordships to accept it, although I accept the implications of it.


I much regret that it will be necessary to divide the House.


It seems that this Amendment does only two things. First of all, it assures that we get a report in a reasonable time; secondly, it ensures that the Government make up their mind what legislation they can introduce in the future to help the disabled. It does not say what legislation they would like to produce, if they had the money and everything else; it says only what they propose to do. Therefore it seems that the Amendment would simply ensure that such legislation as they think is desirable is brought in speedily. I may be wrong in that, but it seems to me that there is no more in it than that. If that is all it is doing, I feel sure that we should pass this Amendment.


With due respect, I do not think that that is what it says. The words are: a report on what amendments are needed in the law". It does not say what the Government can do.


I am afraid I still stick to my point.

10.10 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 40) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 24; Not-Contents, 23.

Aberdare, L. Eccles, V. Sandford, L.
Balfour, E. Elliot of Harwood, B. Swansea, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Ferrers, E. [Teller.] Trefgarne, L.
Brooke of Cumnor, L. Gowrie, E. Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, B.
Brooke of Ystradfellte, B. Gridley, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
Colville of Culross, V. Lothian, M. Young, B.
Conesford, L. Mowbray and Stourton, L. [Teller.]
Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Drumalbyn, L On-Ewing, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

Clause 36 agreed to.

Clause 37 [Claims for, and payment of, benefit and other ancillary provisions]:

10.16 p.m.


Amendment No. 41 is a drafting Amendment to provide a more accurate description of the scope of Schedule 10, parts of which extend to the Family Allowances Act. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 49, line 41. after ("Acts") insert ("and payments under the Family Allowances Act"). —(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 37, as amended agreed to.

Schedule 10 agreed to.

Clause 38 agreed to.

Schedule 11 agreed to.

Clause 39 [Crown servants, Armed Forces etc.]:


With the leave of the Committee I should like to take Amendments No. 44 and No. 45 together. These are drafting Amendments to delete superfluous words for consistency with the rest of the clause. I beg to move.

Amendments moved— Page 54, line 21, leave out ("any of") line 33, leave out ("any of").—(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Clause 39, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 40 agreed to.

Clause 41 [Married women, widows, etc.]:


Amendment No. 46 is a drafting Amendment to omit a subsection which is now otiose. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 56, line 30, leave out subsection (5). —(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 41, as amended agreed to.

Clauses 42 to 46 agreed to.

Clause 47 [The Committee and its functions]:

10.23 p.m.

THE EARL OF GOWR1E moved Amendment No. 50: Page 62, line 5, leave out ("94") and insert ("47A").

The noble Earl said: With the leave of the House I wish to speak to Amendment No. 50 in conjunction with Amendments Nos. 52 to 54, 63 and 64, 78 and 79, 80 to 86, 88, 101, 102, 104, 105 to 109, 110 to 115, 121, 129, 130, 131, 134, 135 and 137. I apologise for wearying the House with that long list.


I agree that it was a rather long list and as one of my noble friends missed one of the Amendments, I wonder whether the noble Earl would mind going through them again so that we can note them more carefully. There is a serious point about this. Having got to this stage—and I am quite frank about it—we should now go on to 10.30 p.m. before the House adjourns. I so invite the noble Lord. We should get Part I and we should get it at exactly 10.30. If the noble Earl has this consideration in mind I am sure it will be to the convenience of all concerned.


I shall certainly see to the noble Lord's request and take that list again a little more slowly. With the leave of the House, which I understand I have, and with the leave of the noble Lord opposite particularly, I should like to speak to the following Amendments: Nos. 50, 52, 53, 54, 63, 64, 78—


With the greatest respect to the noble Earl it is quite impossible to turn the pages over at the speed he is going. I realise it is difficult because I had the same task yesterday, but I tried to do it slowly and most people were able to mark the Amendments off. But it is really impossible to follow the noble Earl.


Third time lucky! With the leave of the House I should like to speak to the following Amendments: Nos. 50, 52, 53, 54, 63, 64, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 121, Clause 92, 129, 130, 131, 134, 135, and 137. These are technical Amendments relating to the application of the Bill to Northern Ireland and may conveniently be discussed together as a whole, although of course put to the Committee for adoption in their appropriate place in the order of the Bill.

The main changes are the restriction of Clause 91—Application of the Bill to Northern Ireland—to Parts II, III and IV of the Bill, and the inclusion in Part 1 of the Bill of a new clause, Clause 47A, and two new Schedules, 12A and 12B, dealing with the basic scheme in Northern Ireland. This separate treatment of the basic scheme arises from the fact that Great Britain and Northern Ireland have separate basic schemes, although closely co-ordinated, whereas the occupational pension provisions and the reserve scheme apply to the United Kingdom as a whole. The remaining Amendments are minor or consequential ones. I beg to move Amendment No. 50.


I do not want to prolong things unduly, and I ticked these Amendments off as the noble Earl went through them for the third time. He says that they all relate to Northern Ireland, yet one of the Amendments which he named, if I marked it correctly, was No. 114, which reads: Page 112, line 4, after ('costs') insert ('or in Scotland, the expenses')". I object to Scotland being regarded as an incidental to Northern Ireland.


As one of Scottish ancestry who was born in Southern Ireland, I understand the noble Lord's feelings, and I apologise if I overlooked that provision. As he rightly says, Amendment 114 reads: Page 112, line 4, after ('costs ') insert ('or in Scotland, the expenses')". But, naturally, Amendment No. 114 is not being moved on this occasion.


Do I understand that under the basic scheme the Northern Ireland Province had its own legislation and that this is now being incorporated in our statutes? And in regard to the reserve scheme, which is Part III of the Bill, if there is to be a new Constitution in Northern Ireland, has the reserve scheme been so drafted that this could be taken out and put into the Northern Ireland scheme without any major difficulties of administration?


I do not think the noble Lord is correct in that assumption. The advice I have is that the basic scheme is treated separately because Great Britain and Northern Ireland have separate basic schemes, although they are very closely coordinated; but the occupational pension provisions and the reserve scheme apply to the United Kingdom as a whole.


That, of course, includes Northern Ireland, I take it. What I was asking was has it been so drafted, as a consequence of these Amendments, that if it were decided to set up a new Constitution in Northern Ireland so that they could have their own legislation it would be relatively easy to transfer the present provisions into the Northern Ireland concept, so that there would not be any administrative difficulties?


We are dealing with the United Kingdom as the United Kingdom finds itself. It would he quite wrong, in my view, to provide for contingencies in the future in that way.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 47, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 12 [The National Insurance Advisory Committee]:

10.30 p.m.

THE EARL OF GOWRIE moved Amendment No. 51: Page 162, line 23, leave out ("11(a)") and insert ("12(a)").

The noble Earl said: These are drafting Amendments which are designed to ensure that the order in which the provisions as set out in Schedule 20 follow the order of the enabling clause, Clause 84. The Amendments to Clause 90 and Schedule 12 are simply consequential corrections of reference. I beg to move.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Schedule 12, as amended, agreed to.


I beg to move Amendment No. 52.

Amendment moved—

After Clause 47, insert the following new clause:

The basic scheme in Northern Ireland

("47A.—(1) This Part of this Act, except sections 7, 8, 38, 39(2) to (4) 42(2), 46 and 47 and Schedules 11 and 12, extends to Northern Ireland, but with the adaptations set out in Schedule 12A (Adaptation of Part I, and other provisions, for Northern Ireland) to this Act; and other provisions of this Act applying for the interpretation of this Part also extend to Northern Ireland with those adaptations.

(2) Whenever the Secretary of State makes an order under section 7, 8 or 38 of this Act, the Northern Ireland Ministry shall make a corresponding order for Northern Ireland, amending—

  1. (a)this Part of this Act as it has effect in Northern Ireland;
  2. (b)the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1966; or
  3. (c)the Workmen's Compensation (Supplementation) Act (Northern Ireland) 1966,
in the same way, and to the same effect, and from as nearly as may be the same date or dates, as this Part of this Act, the Industrial Injuries Act or the Old Cases Act (as the case may be) is amended by the order of the Secretary of State.

(3) The Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury and the Northern Ireland Minister with the consent of the Ministry of Finance may make arrangements ("the joint arrangements") for co-ordinating the operation of this Part of this Act in Great Britain and its operation in Northern Ireland with a view to securing that, to the extent allowed for in the arrangements, the basic scheme as it operates in both territories does so as a single system.

(4) There shall be a Joint Authority (so referred to in this Act) consisting of the Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland Minister, with responsibility for giving effect to the joint arrangements and having power—

  1. (a) to make any necessary financial adjustments between the National Insurance Fund and the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund; and
  2. (b) to discharge such other functions as may be provided under the joint arrangements; and Schedule 12B (Joint Authority for Great Britain and Northern Ireland) to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Joint Authority.

(5) The Secretary of State in relation to Great Britain and the Northern Ireland Ministry in relation to Northern Ireland may make regulations for giving effect to the joint arrangements; and any such regulations may for any purpose of the basic scheme provide—

  1. (a) for adapting legislation (including subordinate legislation) for the time being in force in Great Britain or, as the case may be, in Northern Ireland so as to secure its reciprocal operation between the two territories;
  2. (b) without prejudice to paragraph (a) above, for securing that acts, omissions and events having any effect for the purposes of this Part of this Act in relation to Great Britain or, as the case may be, Northern Ireland, have a corresponding effect in relation to Northern Ireland or, as the case may be, Great Britain;
  3. (c) for the Joint Authority to be substituted for the Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland Ministry in relation to any power under this Part of this Act to make regulations (other than regulations under this paragraph) or orders.

(6) Regulations made by the Joint Authority may apply section 39(2) to (4) of this Act to Northern Ireland, with or without modifications, and provide for determining—

  1. (a) the persons who, being employed earners in respect of their membership of Her Majesty's forces, are to be treated as belonging to Northern Ireland; and
  2. (b) the sums paid as contributions by and in respect of those persons.

(7) Any sums determined by regulations under subsection (6)(b) above shall be treated as paid as basic scheme contributions under this Part of this Act as it applies to Northern Ireland, and not as it applies to Great Britain, for the purposes—

  1. (a) of arriving at the amount of any Treasury supplement or Northern Ireland Exchequer supplement; and
  2. (b) of making any adjustment between the National Insurance Fund and the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund."—(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move Amendment No. 53.

Amendment moved—

After Schedule 12, insert the following new schedule:




1. In the provisions of this Act which are extended to Northern Ireland by section 47A (The basic scheme in Northern Ireland) (1), there shall be made the adaptations provided for by this Schedule.

General adaptations of references

2. For any such reference as is specified in column 1 of the Table set out below there shall be substituted the reference specified in column 2.

Reference> Substituted reference
The Attendance Allowance Board. The Attendance Allowance Board for Northern Ireland.
The Consolidated Fund. The Exchequer of Northern Ireland.
The Family Allowances Act. The Family Allowances Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.
The former principal Act. The National Insurance Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.
Great Britain (except in section 40(1)(d) and section 47A). Northern Ireland.
The Industrial Injuries Act (except in section 47A). The National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.
The Industrial Injuries Acts. The National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Acts (Northern Ireland) 1966 to 1972.
The Industrial Injuries Fund. The Northern Ireland Industrial Injuries Fund.
The Minister for the Civil Service. The Ministry of Finance.
Money provided by Parliament. Money hereafter appropriated for that purpose.
National health service. Health service.
The National Health Service Contributions Act 1965. The Health Service Contributions Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.
The National Insurance Act 1970. The National Insurance Act (Northern Ireland) 1970.
The National Insurance Fund (except in section 47A). The Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund.
The National Insurance (Reserve) Fund. The Northern Ireland National Insurance (Reserve) Fund.
The Old Cases Acts. The Workmen's Compensation (Supplementation) Acts (Northern Ireland) 1966 to 1972.
The Redundancy Fund. The Northern Ireland Redundancy Fund.
The Secretary of State (except in section 5(4) and (5), section 47A and section 96(2A)). The Northern Ireland Ministry.
The Supplementary Benefit Act 1966. The Supplementary Benefits &c. Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.
The Treasury (except in section 5(4) and (5), in the second place where the reference occurs in section 43(4), in section 47A and in the expression "the Treasury supplement"). The Ministry of Finance.
The Treasury supplement (except in section 47A). The Northern Ireland Exchequer Supplement.
The Treasury supplements. The Northern Ireland Exchequer supplements.

Adaptations of particular provisions

3.—(1) In section 1(3) for "sections 7 and 8" substitute "subsection (2) of section 47A", and for "those sections" substitute "that subsection".

(2) In section 1(5) after "supplement to contributions" insert (in this Act referred to as 'the Northern Ireland Exchequer Supplement')".

(3) In section 1(6)(c) for "section 27 of the Redundancy Payments Act 1965" substitute "section 37 of the Contracts of Employment and Redundancy Payments Act (Northern Ireland) 1965".

4. In section 9(3) omit "to the extent provided for by section 38 of this Act (annual up—rating review)", and for "from year to year under that section" substitute "under section 47A(2) of this Act".

5. In section 14(6)(a) for "the Employment and Training Act 1948" substitute "the Employment and Training Act (Northern Ireland) 1950".

6. In section 15(5) for paragraph (a) substitute— (a) in pursuance of Article 15 or 36 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972; or".

7. In section 18(2) for paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute "by any court of summary iuris- diction in deciding whether or not it shall make an order under the Illegitimate Children (Affiliation Orders) Act (Northern Ireland) 1924".

8. In section 22(5) for "subsections (2) to (6) "substitute" subsections (2) to (4)".

9. In section 24(8) for "section 38 of this Act (annual uprating review)" substitute "section 47A(2) of this Act".

10. In section 33(2)(b) for "the proviso to paragraph 1(1)" substitute "paragraph 1(2)".

11. In section 40(1)(d) for "outside Great Britain" substitute "other than Northern Ireland".

12.—(1) In section 43(3) after "the Comptroller and Auditor General" insert "for Northern Ireland "and for" Parliament" substitute "the Parliament of Northern Ireland".

(2) In section 43(4) for "the National Debt Commissioners and be invested by them, in accordance with such directions as may be given by the Treasury," substitute "the Ministry of Finance and by that Ministry invested".

(3) For section 43(5) substitute— (5) The Ministry of Finance shall certify a statement of the securities in which money forming part of the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund is for the time being invested and that statement so certified shall be included with the accounts of that Fund laid before the Parliament of Northern Ireland under subsection (3).

13. In section 44(4)(a) for the words following "cost" substitute "of the health service in Northern Ireland".

14. In section 96—

  1. (a) in subsection (1) omit the definitions of "the Family Allowances Act", "the former principal Act", "the Industrial Injuries Act", "the Industrial Injuries Acts", "the Old Cases Act" and "the Old Cases Acts";
  2. (b) in subsection (6)(b) for "the Family Allowances and National Insurance Act 1967" substitute "the Family Allowances and National Insurance Act (Northern Ireland) 1968".

15. In Schedule 1 omit paragraph 8.

16. In Schedule 7, in paragraph 1, for "4" substitute "3" and for "9" substitute "7".

17. In Schedule 10—

  1. (a) in paragraph 4(1) and (2) for "11(6)" substitute "11(5)";
  2. (b) in paragraph 8(4) for heads (a) and (b) substitute "to persons who would take beneficially on an intestacy under the provisions of Part II of the Administration of Estates Act (Northern Ireland) 1955";
  3. (c) in paragraph 9, for sub-paragraph (2) substitute the following sub-paragraph:—
(2) In the application of sub-paragraph (1) to Northern Ireland the reference to the bankruptcy of a beneficiary shall include a reference to the vesting of his estate and effects in the official assignee under section 349 of the Irish Bankrupt and Insolvent Act 1857.""—(The Earl of Cowrie.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move Amendment No. 54.

Amendment moved— After Schedule 12 insert the following new Schedule:




1. The Joint Authority shall be a body corporate by the name of the National Insurance Joint Authority, and shall have an official seal which shall be officially and judicially noticed, and the seal of the Authority may be authenticated by either member of, or the secretary to, the Authority, or by any person authorised by the Authority to act on behalf of the secretary.

2. Either member of the Joint Authority shall be entitled, subject to and in accordance with any rules laid down by the Authority, to appoint a deputy to act for him at meetings of the Authority at which he is unable to be present.

3. The Documentary Evidence Act 1868 shall apply to the Joint Authority as if the Authority were included in the first column of the Schedule to that Act, and as if either member or the secretary, or any person authorised to act on behalf of the secretary, of the Authority were mentioned in the second column of that Schedule, and as if the regulations referred to in that Act included any document issued by the Authority."—(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 48 agreed to.


I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.