HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc680-1W

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the effect of Ryan v. Hartley (reported in the Law Reports (1912), 2 King's Bench, page 150) upon cases to which the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, Schedule 2, paragraph 9, would otherwise apply; whether he is aware that this decision opens the door to the use of undue influence upon persons entitled to compensation, with a view to inadequate compromises over which the Court has no control, by means of refraining from payment of compensation until a workman is destitute, threats of concerted action by employers to refrain from employing the workman if he will not accept the sum offered, and the like; whether he can correct this; and, if not, whether he is prepared to amend the law?


I am aware that the decision in question has had an unfortunate effect in restricting the scope of the provisions enacted in the Second Schedule of the Act for the prevention of improvident agreements. The matter, however, can only be effectively dealt with by further legislation, which I regret it would not be possible to undertake at the present time.