asked the Home Secretary whether he is satisfied with the present arrangements with regard to medical 1198W referee decisions in cases of industrial disease claims for workmen's compensation; whether he is aware of the injustice of the present one-man final decision, often by a medical referee inexpert in the particular disease; and what steps he is proposing to take now to remedy the present system which is unjust to workmen claimants?
§ Mr. Peake
My right hon. Friend is well aware of the objections taken to the procedure prescribed by the present Acts for determining medical issues in these cases, and recognises that this is one of the questions to be reviewed in connection with any revision of the Workmen's Compensation system. As my hon. Friend is aware, there are already a considerable number of specialist medical referees appointed to deal with the chief industrial diseases and, so far as present circumstances permit, steps have been taken, as recommended by the Stewart Committee, to appoint additional referees for cases of dermatitis. I would add that there are arrangements for enabling any medical referee who experiences difficulty in any case to obtain special assistance.
asked the Home Secretary whether he can give the figures of the results of the appeals in industrial disease cases sent to Sir Kenneth Goadby, a medical referee, in London in 1940 and 1941; and also the corresponding figures for the medical referee for Bedfordshire?
§ Mr. Peake
The number of such appeals was 1,492. The decision of the examining surgeon was confirmed in 743 cases. The figures for two of the county court districts in Bedfordshire are included in the above. The figures for the remaining county court district in Bedfordshire are not immediately available.