§ Mr. BOOTH
asked the Comptroller of the Household, as representing the National Health Insurance Commissioners, whether it is the duty of the Insurance Commissioners to call his attention from time to time to resolutions passed by approved societies and other bodies concerning the finance and administration of 2095W the National Health Insurance Act; if so, whether his attention has been drawn to the annual report of the General Federation of Trade Unions, in which that body expresses the view that the Report of the Departmental Committee on Approved Society Finance and Administration does not offer the most desirable solution of the financial problems involved; whether his attention has been drawn to the resolution passed at the High Court of the Ancient Order of Foresters regretting the restricted reference of the Departmental Committee, and calling upon the Government to institute at once a full, unrestricted, and open inquiry into the finance and administration of the Act; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
Neither of the Reports referred to by the hon. Member have been, sent to the Commissioners by the bodies concerned, but I have seen a copy of the Report of the General Federation of Trade Unions, the unabridged relevant portion of which is as followsThis (the Departmental Committee's) Report does not offer the most desirable solution but it offers the only solution within the terms of reference, and these were presumably dictated by national emergencies rather than by abstract theories of right and justice.
I have also seen a copy of the resolution of the Ancient Order of Foresters 2096W which were unanimously passed at the last High Court; they are as follows:
In reply to the concluding paragraph of the question, I would remind the hon. Member that the Interim Report of the Departmental Committee recommends a method by which the financial equilibrium of the Act can be completely secured within the existing limits of contributions and benefits and apart from further Exchequer grants. It has already been officially stated that the possibility of relieving valuation deficiencies of approved societies by Exchequer Grants was advisedly excluded from the terms of reference under which the Committee was appointed. The Government have made it clear in published papers that the present financial position of the country necessarily precluded such a course, which, moreover, is, in their opinion, not warranted either by the principles of the Insurance Acts or the necessities of the situation.
- "(1) That this High Court regrets the restricted reference of the Committee of the National Insurance Acts now sitting and calls upon the Government to at once institute a full and unrestricted open inquiry into the finance and administration of the Acts.
- (2) That this High Court of the Ancient Order of Foresters, although hot binding itself in regard to details, approves generally of the recommendation contained in the Interim Report of the Departmental Committee on Approved Society Finance, and trusts that legislation to carry them into immediate effect will follow."