§ Colonel ROPNER
asked the Home Secretary if he can make any statement as to the result of the action taken by his Department, in conjunction with the Mining Association, to develop the system of mutual insurance in the coal-mining industry in order to ensure the continuance of workmen's compensation payments even in those cases where colliery companies may close down or go bankrupt?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
As the hon. and gallant Member will be aware, the object has been to secure that every colliery is insured either through a mutual indemnity association or an insurance company in respect not only of fatal accidents, but also of cases of permanent or prolonged disablement, or as an alternative sets aside adequate reserves to meet its liabilities under a trust deed. It appears from information obtained through the Mining Association that out of about 960 colliery undertakings, employing some 790,000 men, 707 undertakings with 589,000 men have adopted one or other of these alternatives. As regards the remainder, it is right to say that in many cases it is expected that similar arrangements will have been actually adopted by an early date. For example, it is estimated that some 49,000 more men will be covered after the revision of the articles of association of three mutual associations, which is reported to be in hand, is completed; and there are some large undertakings in which the arrangements for the trust deed, though not actually com-1320W pleted, are in process of settlement. There are also a number of undertakings, employing some 60,000 men, reported to be in negotiation with mutual indemnity associations. I expect to receive next week from the Mining Association a full and up-to-date statement of the position.