HC Deb 14 February 1922 vol 150 cc837-8W

asked the Minister of Health whether an approved society under the National Health Insurance Acts is liable for the payment of maternity benefit under the said Acts from the husband's insurance on the confinement of his wife, notwithstanding that his wife is living in adultery and that he is not the father of the child; whether his attention has been called to the decision of the Divisional Court on the stated case arising out of the appeal in Elizabeth Scott v. the Northumberland and Durham Miners' Permanent Relief Fund Approved Society; and whether he proposes to introduce legislation to so amend the National Insurance Acts, 1911 to 1921, as to relieve the husband's approved society from the liability for payment of maternity benefit in similar circumstances to those referred to?


I am aware of the decision of the Court in the case referred to by the hon. Member, which was to the effect that maternity benefit is payable in respect of the confinement of the wife of an insured person irrespective of any question as to the paternity of the child. I cannot contemplate the introduction of legislation which would necessitate inquiries being made as to the paternity of all children born to the wives of insured persons, and I understand that approved societies generally concur in this view.