§ Mr. AUBREY HERBERT
asked the Prime Minister if, in view of the excessive sickness and abnormal death-rate of workers in Brades Edge Tool Works, he can see his way to bringing this work under the operation of the Industrial Diseases Act?
§ Mr. McKENNA
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I have made inquiry, and on the information which I have been able to obtain I do not find that, in comparison with the normal rate of sickness, the amount of sickness in the works referred to is excesive, or that the death-rate is abnormal. If by the Industrial Diseases Act the hon. Member means the industrial disease provisions 575W of the Workmen's Compensation Act, I have no power to apply those provisions to particular kinds of work, but only to specified industrial diseases. So far as regards the disease known as fibriod phthisis, to which grinders are specially subject, I would point out that the question of scheduling this disease under the Compensation Act was very fully considered by the Committee on Compensation for Industrial Diseases in 1907, and that the Committee were unable, for the reasons stated at length in their Report (see pages 13–19), to recommend it. The position in this respect has not altered since the Committee reported, and on present information I do not think there would be any advantage in reopening the question. I may add that disablement caused by the disease is now covered by the provisions of the National Insurance Act.