HC Deb 20 February 1954 vol 689 cc243-4W
Mrs. McLaughlin

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what consideration he is giving to the question of prescribing byssinosis among flax and hemp workers as an industrial disease.

Mr. Wood

A special survey to determine whether flax and hemp workers suffer from the disease has just been carried out by Professor J. Pemberton, of The Queen's University of Belfast. In view of his findings, I have decided to refer the following question to my Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for its consideration and advice:—

  1. (1) whether, having regard to the provisions of Section 55(2) of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1946 and the similar provisions of Section 54(2) of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1946, there exists a respiratory condition analogous to byssinosis which should be treated as a prescribed disease under those two Acts in relation to any insured persons working within the flax and hemp industry; and
  2. (2) if so, what classes and groups of insured persons should be eligible for such cover and what special conditions, if any, should be placed on eligibility for benefit under the Acts.

The Minister of Labour and National Insurance in Northern Ireland is in full agreement with this decision.