HC Deb 12 December 1912 vol 45 cc777-8W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to a fine inflicted at the Petty Sessions Court of Mallow, county Cork, on the 3rd instant, on Mr. J. F. Williamson for failure to comply with the provisions of the National Insurance Act; whether it was proved in evidence that the defendant had on 24th July written to the Insurance Act Commissioners that none of his workmen had cards in their possession, refused the emergency cards he offered them, and told him that if he stamped the cards on their behalf, and made any deduction from their wages, they would leave his employment; whether he is aware that Mr. Williamson, in consequence, was summoned at the instance of the Insurance Commissioners, and a fine inflicted; and whether he can say why Mr. Williamson was selected for prosecution, seeing that the Act is practically a dead letter in the neighbourhood where he resides?


I am aware that the employer referred to in the question was prosecuted and that he stated that his employés had threatened to leave him as suggested in the question. In view, however, of the fact that about thirteen million cards are being stamped weekly in the United Kingdom without resistance, I am unable to understand why his case should be exceptional in this respect. The defendant was a large employer who was known not to be complying with the provisions of the Act. I am informed that there is no such resistance as is implied in the last part of the question, but if any cases are brought to my attention I will communicate with the Irish Commissioners with a view to proceedings being instituted.