In Committee on Finance. - Workmen's Compensation Bill, 1933—Report Stage.

I understand that it is the intention of the Minister to recommit this Bill for the purpose of dealing with amendments.

On behalf of Deputy Dillon I move amendment 1:—

In page 5, lines 17-18, Section 5 (2), to delete paragraph (b) (iii).

I fancy from recollection that the Minister undertook to consider the question of casual labourer. I do not know if he has taken any steps to do so since the Committee Stage.

I do not think I gave any indication that I was prepared to accept this amendment.

To consider it.

I have gone through the whole Bill, following the discussion that took place, and I examined every suggestion that was made in great detail. This is not one of the changes suggested.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment 2:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 5, to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

(4) Reference in this Act to a workman who has been injured shall, where the workman is dead, be construed as including references to his legal personal representative, or to his dependants, or other person to whom or for whose benefit compensation is payable.

This is a drafting amendment. One of its purposes is to enable dependants of deceased workmen to obtain from the employer a list of the earnings of the deceased. It is desirable that that right should be given to the personal representative of a deceased workman.

The amendment seems all right, but one story is very good until you hear another. The reference in the amendment is to the "legal personal representative" but in amendment 6 would that mean the deceased workman's personal representative who was under 15 years at that date? As I am afraid that there may be other questions involved, I suggest that the Minister should look more closely into this matter.

Obviously amendment No. 6 can only be construed as giving a claim for compensation to the personal representative of the deceased workman's dependants.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Lynch

I move amendment 3:—

In page 5, line 45, at the end of Section 6 after the word "half-sister" to add the words "orphan nephew or orphan niece dwelling in the house of the workman and maintained solely by him."

I raised this matter on the Committee Stage with a view to extending the definition of "members of the family," and the Minister said he would look into it. A case had already been made for bringing into the definition of "members of the family" an adopted child. There are many instances where a workman has taken a child of a brother or sister for the purpose of rearing it. That child is brought up in the house as one of the family and would be entirely dependent on the earnings of the workman. I put down the amendment to give the Minister an opportunity of saying what has been the result of his investigations in the interval.

I am quite satisfied that the case for including an adopted son or daughter is unanswerable, and I asked that an amendment should be prepared to cover the point. I have been informed that the drafting of such an amendment will present considerable difficulty, and could not be produced in time to discuss it now. If the Deputy will take my word, that I am going to insert such an amendment in the Seanad, he might withdraw the amendment before the Dáil.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendments 4 and 5 not moved.

I move amendment 6:—

In page 5 to insert before Section 7 (2), two new sub-sections as follows:—

(2) In this Act the expression "adult dependant" when used in relation to a deceased workman means a dependant of such workman who is not under the age of fifteen at the date of the death of such workman.

(3) In this Act the expression "juvenile dependant" when used in relation to a deceased workman means a dependant of such workman who is under the age of fifteen at the date of the death of such work man.

This amendment covers a series of amendments and they arise out of a decision given in a recent case in Great Britain. It is proposed to substitute the word "child" by "juvenile dependant." You will then have the term "adult dependant" and "juvenile dependant," and both fully defined in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

The Chair had some doubt about allowing amendment 7 to be moved on the Fourth Stage, and still graver doubts as regards amendment 34. Amendments proper to Report Stage are amendments withdrawn or not moved in Committee, or amendments arising out of proceedings in Committee, and consequent on a Ministerial undertaking to meet some point raised, or on a Ministerial undertaking to Deputies to table amendments dealing with specific points. The Chair has, however, decided to allow both the amendments in question to be moved, since the Minister, as reported in columns 80 and 81 of the Official Debates for the 15th November, 1933, seemed to invite amendments.

I move amendment 7:—

In page 5, Section 7 (2), to delete all words after the word "necessaries," line 59, to the end of line 60 and substitute the words "and amenities of life suitable for persons in his class of position, and the expression ‘necessaries and amenities' shall be deemed to include necessary provision for old age, sickness, infirmity, funeral expenses, and other provisions of a like nature by insurance or otherwise."

On the Committee Stage the discussion ranged around the clear intention of the section to limit the compensation which was to be paid to a person partially dependent on the earnings of a deceased workman. It was suggested to the Minister that the effect was to make it more difficult for people to get compensation, and that, in addition, the amount of compensation would be based on an extremely narrow margin. It was mentioned that if a son was contributing £1 or 30/- weekly to the family wages fund, where he was living with a father or mother, they would have to go to court to show that the money was, in fact, necessary, and was spent on the necessaries of life for that household. Unless the father or mother were able to convince the court that the money was so spent, and that no portion was saved, it would not be possible for them to obtain compensation in respect of any portion of the income from the son which represented either savings to the family, or expenditure on commodities which could not be described as necessaries of life. The Attorney-General, on the last occasion, came to the assistance of the Minister and told me particularly that I ought to be quite satisfied with this particular section, as drafted, because he said the Labour Party in Britain had been quite satisfied with this particular section. I think the Attorney-General made three speeches on it and in each of them he took great pains to tell me that this section represented all that was desirable from the point of view of the British Labour Party and that, as a matter of fact, they apparently did not desire anything better. Not having the information at my disposal then, I did not contradict the statement of the Attorney-General, but I have since been able to get some information to show what the British Labour Party's view is on it and what the view of the Trade Union Congress in Great Britain is.

While the Attorney-General would have us believe on the last occasion that the viewpoint of the British Labour Party that this phraseology borrowed by the framers of this Bill from the present Act represented everything that was ideal, I have discovered that, in 1927, the publicity department of the British Trade Union Congress issued a pamphlet described "The New Bill for Workmen's Compensation as framed by the General Committee of the Trade Union Congress General Council and Parliamentary Labour Party." This might well be held to represent the thoughts and views of the British Labour Party on that matter, and these thoughts, on the last occasion, were very acceptable to the Attorney-General. He was quite willing to take them as reasonable, because he conceived them to be views expressed on sub-section (2), but I can give him evidence now that that is not the view of the Labour Party at all, and when they came to draft their own particular amendment and Workmen's Compensation Bill, they drafted a section very much wider than the section in this particular Bill. On that occasion they did not stop, as this Bill does, with a reference to the provision of the ordinary necessaries of life, but went on and included amenities, setting out categorically certain specific kinds of amenities that should be included. If the Attorney-General still has the same high opinion of the British Labour Party as he had on that occasion, I hope that he has induced the Minister to accept this amendment. The purpose of it is to leave the existing position in respect of workmen's compensation alone, to leave alone the position that has existed for 30 years in which a person, going into the courts and seeking workmen's compensation, knows where he is, because of the judgments which have been recorded on the clause in the 1906 Act.

Under this section, it seems to me that the father of a deceased son, who previously received a certain weekly income from the son, will, in future, not merely have to go into the court, tell the court his son has lost his life and that he was partially dependent on him, but in addition will have to bring in a family budget and a family balance sheet, and will have to be able to show that in respect of that son he did not save one farthing from his income. If he should have got, as I said before, 30/- from the son and could show that he spent only 25/- on necessaries, the other 5/- will not be allowed for the purpose of computing his compensation, and it will not be necessary to say that it was spent on getting any kind of delicacies or amenities other than necessaries for the family. If the Minister wants to clarify the existing position, he should certainly not clarify it against the dependants of an injured workman, and if he cannot see his way to leaving the existing position alone, if he is going to amend the existing position, he should do it in such a way as to include not merely the bare necessaries of life but should also make provision for including amenities which, in my opinion, will not be included in the phraseology in the Bill. This amendment is a very reasonable one. It merely asks that the amenities of life ought to be regarded as something to which the dependants of a deceased workman were entitled and the specific amenities are not amenities that anybody could reasonably object to. I hope the Minister will see his way to accept this.

Since this matter was discussed in Committee here, Deputy Norton is not the only one who has been carrying out researches. I have been carrying out certain researches, too, and I find that, in fact, I am the only person in the House who has taken a consistent line in this matter throughout. Deputy Norton should not have stopped at 1927. There was a Bill introduced here in 1929 by Deputy Rice — a Private Members' Bill — to amend the Workmen's Compensation Act and that Bill, having got a second reading here, went to a select committee, of which I was a member. It was only after the debate here that I remembered what had happened there. I had been somewhat confused by the vehement assertion made by Deputy McGilligan, and supported by Deputy Costello, that the inclusion of a sub-section of this kind in any Bill for which they were likely to be responsible had never been decided upon, and I think that Deputy Costello told us that he would have vehemently opposed it, while Deputy McGilligan said that if I had found such a section in a draft Bill in my office when I became Minister, it represented very hasty thought and was in no sense to be regarded as the final and considered opinion of his Government or his Party. Having left the Dáil after that debate, I knew there was a catch somewhere, and I found the catch when I remembered what had happened at the meetings of the select committee on Deputy Rice's Private Members' Bill, when, on behalf of Deputy McGilligan, Deputy Rice proposed the insertion in that Bill of precisely this section, word for word as it appears in the present draft. The proposition was carried, and carried unanimously, with the approval of the official representative of the Labour Party present on the committee. That committee met in 1929 and I must assume either that he had never heard of the British Trade Union Congress Draft Bill in 1927 or that if he had heard of it, he did not agree with it.

However, there is no good making points of that kind except merely to emphasise that any objection to this section has, so far as I am aware, developed only since the Bill came before the Dáil. Its inclusion in the Bill, based as it was on the recommendation of our committee, the recommendation of the British Committee and the unanimous support given to it by all Parties in 1929, appears to me to be thoroughly justified. Since the discussion, however, I have had an exhaustive search made of the various decisions which have been given in Great Britain, arising out of this section. I referred to the fact that the section was originally copied from an American statute, and I indicated the nature of the interpretation which had been placed on the same phrase in the United States courts. It is quite clear from the decisions which have been recorded in the British courts that the section has not operated to the detriment of the workman. It has, in fact, been interpreted as if the words suggested by Deputy Norton were added, with one exception, and I agree that in respect of that exception, there is a case for amendment of the section. In one of the British judgments it was held that any part of the family expenditure on insurance premiums could not be regarded as expenditure on a necessary of life in respect of which compensation would be payable.

I gave that matter very considerable thought and I think there is a case for an amendment here. One can picture the case of a family consisting of a father and a number of sons as well as other members, in which the father as head of the family would have insured himself by taking out a life policy for the purpose of securing that a certain sum would be payable to his dependants on his death, thus providing them against hardship. His ability to pay the premiums on that policy could conceivably depend upon the contributions given him by his sons. If one of his sons is killed in an industrial accident, and the contribution is consequently cut off, it might not be possible, or it would not be possible with the same ease, to maintain the premium payments on that policy. I think there is a case there, that whereas the section might have been interpreted to cover such cases, we must have regard to the fact that in a particular case in Great Britain a decision to the contrary was given. That being so, I think we should put the matter beyond doubt here by an amendment of the sub-section. I am having that matter considered with a view to producing a suitable amendment and having it inserted in the Bill in the other House.

I should like it to be clear that the amendment would be designed to secure that the expenses of the family in the payment of premiums on insurance in respect of life policies, whether ordinary life or industrial life, would be regarded as outgoings on the necessaries of life. The other matters mentioned are old age, sickness and infirmity, and other provisions of a like nature. There is, of course, a certain provision made by the State against old age, and I doubt very much if it is the practice in any workingclass family to insure against old age. There is compulsory State insurance against sickness and infirmity and in these cases the necessity for insurance does not exist, at least, in so far as the necessity for insurance exists, insurance must take place——

"Or otherwise."

Quite. There I take it the person may pay into a particular society but that society, although in effect carrying out the same functions as an insurance society, would not be classed as such. Quite obviously the insertion in the Bill of the words "or otherwise" would be taken as meaning a lot more than that because these words would make it possible for a dependant to claim that any provision which he was making for anything was in some sense a provision against old age, infirmity, funeral expenses, and other expenses of a like nature. I do not think the term "amenities" is necessary. I think the obvious interpretation of the section, and the interpretation put upon it by the British court, make it quite clear that the term "necessaries" does not mean those articles of diet or clothing which are to be regarded as the minimum necessary to sustain life. In fact the wording of the section itself and the various decisions make it quite clear that that interpretation cannot be put upon it. The British court decisions have made it clear that the wording is effective to that end. I would suggest therefore that the Deputy might consider the withdrawal of his amendment on my assurance that an amendment will be inserted in the Seanad designed to secure that the provision made by the family for insurance will be taken into account when the amount of compensation is being assessed.

I should like to urge on the Minister when he is considering this amendment that as it stands it is far too wide. For instance, "amenities" might be held to cover the case of a workman, with two or three sons in good employment, who owned a motor car which they used partly for pleasure and partly for bringing them in to work. I can see a whole lot of possibilities opened up under the heading of "amenities" unless it is considered very carefully. I should like also to point out to the Minister that if a workman is in a position to make these provisions he is certainly in a very favoured position these hard times.

I disagree with my friend and colleague, Deputy Dockrell. I take the view that if a workman is in receipt of some contribution from his sons or daughters which enables him to get the advantages of so-called amenities and that if as the result of a death these contributions are taken away from him, it is only proper that he should be compensated for the loss of such amenities. The Minister has changed his front slightly at this stage as compared with what it was on the last stage in respect to this matter, because on the last day he stated that there was no case at all to be made for the amendment down in my name. I support Deputy Norton's amendment here because it really endeavours to effect the same purpose as I endeavoured to effect by my amendment, to leave the position as it has been in this country for 30 years. The Minister suggests that he is the only consistent person in this matter and he threw out some suggestions about Deputy McGilligan and myself in reference to some draft Bill that had appeared in the various Departments.

More than that.

I do not care. I make him a present of his suggestions in these matters. It is not a matter that should be decided on a question of consistency or inconsistency, on a question of whether Deputy Rice had a Bill before the Dáil previously, whether Deputy McGilligan approved of a Bill in his office or whether I approved of a draft Bill. So far as I am concerned, I did not approve of any such thing as a draft Bill. My practice was, when I was in office, to allow the Department concerned with the instructions for the drafting of a Bill, to have the matter out with the draftsman and when they had fought it out and thought that they had got what they wanted in the Bill, and when the draftsman thought that he had given them what they wanted, it came to me for approval. Then I started operating but this Bill never reached that stage. It never got to the stage when I could start operating on it. That stage was never reached.

I referred to a Bill which was before the Dáil.

I do not care whether it was in draft or whether it was approved by a commission. Even if it were, that should not matter. It should not be necessary in order to make a case for this Bill to say that somebody had been inconsistent. The case has been made for this amendment, in my opinion an unanswerable case, to leave the position as it has been in this country for 33 years. Everybody knows where they stand in reference to it. The Minister, in his justification of the provisions of the Bill, is going a slight step further than he went on the last day. He suggests that decisions on the meaning of the word "necessaries" in America and elsewhere have not operated against the interests of dependants of workmen. They have not so operated because the judges are doing in reference to the English Acts, the recent English Workmen's Compensation Acts, what they did with the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1906. In other words, they are legislating by judge-made law in favour of the workman or are giving it a wide interpretation. If the Minister says that this section is not operating against the interests of the workman because of judicial decisions what he is really saying is, "We will trust the judges to decide this in favour of the workman." He has an opportunity, and the House has an opportunity, of making explicit what we want to put in the Bill as being in the interests of the workman. This House ought not to leave it to the discretion of the judges to make judge-made law in this matter.

The inclusion of insurance premiums does not at all go to meet the case made for this amendment. The Minister says that a certain interpretation was given to the phrase "necessaries of life" in the American courts and that there is a certain interpretation on that phrase as far as the British courts are concerned. What is the use of an injured workman, or the dependants of a deceased workman, going into court here with an American judgment in one hand and a British judgment in the other hand? They will have no effect whatever on the judge in influencing him to take the same view. If we want to ensure that "necessaries of life" will get a reasonable interpretation then, as Deputy Costello suggests, it is better to put in the phraseology so as to ensure that we shall get a reasonable interpretation rather than to trust to the judges to give that reasonable interpretation and hope that they will act in accordance with some American or British precedent.

The main Workmen's Compensation Act is the 1906 Act. It is 27 years ago since that Act was passed. That Act, for all essential purposes, is the fundamental structure on which workman's compensation in this country has rested for the past 27 years. It will probably be another 27 years or more before another Act is introduced. It seems to me to be very desirable at this stage that some definite provision should be made in this Workmen's Compensation Bill, seeing that it is not likely to be amended for another 27 years or more, to safeguard the interests of the workman. I am keenly interested in this matter frankly from the point of view of the workman. I want to make sure that his dependants will get everything they are reasonably entitled to. It is because I want to ensure that the workman or his dependants will obtain what is reasonable that I put down the amendment to try to get away from the narrow interpretation which "necessaries of life" has in the ordinary mind. The Minister can give no assurance that the judges here will take the same view as the judges in Great Britain or America. I am willing to withdraw the amendment if the Minister is prepared to agree to the inclusion of "necessaries of life and amenities of life" without any specific reference to those other things, on the assumption that it can be argued, and probably can be reasonably contended, that "amenities" will include these things. It is absolutely imperative that "amenities" should go in, in order that the workman will not be deprived of the compensation he can get to-day clearly under established judgments, but which he cannot get if the Minister's phrase stands.

I think Deputy Norton is wrong in stating that I made three speeches on this matter on the Committee Stage. I was interrupted by Deputy Norton on three occasions, but I only spoke once. I do not think that what I did say is substantially contradicted by what Deputy Norton now says. I merely drew attention to the fact that this section first found its place in the 1923 Act in England and was re-enacted in 1925. During the time that the Labour Party were in power in England they did not seek to amend the legislation and, at the time the Bills were going through the House of Commons in England, they did not introduce any amendment or oppose the enactment of this section. The fact that they had drafted a Bill subsequent to that period I confess I was unaware of. However, I do not suppose that matters very much to the question of the discussion here now. I have heard Deputy Costello, both on the Committee Stage and here now, repeat a statement which I do not think is borne out with regard to this particular section, as far as I have been able to discover. He seems to suggest that the courts in England have strained the law in favour of the workman.

I said nothing of the sort. I was taking the Minister's point up. It was the Minister said that, and I made a comment on it.

The Attorney-General

I recollect pretty clearly that the Deputy said that on the last day. He pointed to the fact that the judges in England had always interpreted the law in favour of the workman. He argued then, and he is arguing now, that we ought to do what the judges might be expected to do, and put in explicitly and clearly what the judges may put in by interpretation and in decided cases. I have looked at some decisions in England on this particular section. I find one case decided in 1927. I do not know whether it was before or after the draft Bill Deputy Norton referred to now. It seemed from that decision that the House of Lords found no difficulty in construing the section in the British Act. They referred to it as being absolutely clear. There was no difficulty whatever about construing it. The words of one of the judges were: "‘Necessaries of life' is a common and well-understood expression. It indicates food, clothing, shelter and the necessary concomitants thereto. But to extend it to such a thing as saving or, what is the same thing, insurance, is in my opinion to do violence to the expression." There has been, as far as I can discover, no difficulty in interpreting it in England, and I do not think there is any case made for altering the wording in the section when we put it into the Bill here. How far you are to go is a matter of policy, and I suppose the Minister relies on the argument that this Bill in many ways improves the position of the workman. The benefits extended by this Bill are far in advance of those extended by previous Acts and, in fact, I am told are more generous than in practically any country in the world. While we may all be anxious to improve the lot of the workman, as I said on the last occasion, the original Act of 1897 seemed merely to entitle the workman's dependants to be compensated for loss which deprived them of the necessaries of life. The decision which was given in 1900, which gave to the word "dependant" a different meaning, and which continued down to 1923 in England, was really a straining of the law in favour of the workman. This section, as it stands, does justice as between the employer and employee, and I do not think any case has been made for anything more than the Minister is offering to give, that contributions for insurance should be taken in and included either as a necessary of life or in some other way, and that it should be made clear in the section that they can be taken into account.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the Bill."
The Committee divided:— Tá, 62; Níl, 38.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Vincent.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies Little and Briscoe; Níl: Deputies Corish and Everett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment 8:—

In page 7, section 15 (1), after the word "accident" to insert the words "whether within or without Saorstát Eireann."

The Minister undertook to consider this amendment between the last stage of the Bill and this stage. I should like to know the result of the Minister's consideration.

It was generally agreed in the discussion on Committee Stage that there is a gap in the scheme for providing compensation for injured workmen — a gap which this amendment is designed to fill. But it is quite clear that the most satisfactory method of dealing with the situation which the Deputy has in mind is by way of international reciprocal arrangement, rather than by way of an amendment to our legislation, such as the Deputy suggests.

I will ask the Deputy to consider the fact that the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation considered the matter in all detail and, after collecting the observations of the Governments of all countries. The delegates attending the Conference were aware of the laws operating in all countries; they were familiar with the difficulties and the circumstances that should be taken into consideration and unanimously they came to the conclusion that the best method of dealing with the matter with which the Deputy's amendment is designed to deal was that provided in Article 2 of the Convention. All this is set out in an Appendix to the Report of the inter-Departmental Committee. Article 2 recommends that it should be left to the countries which were parties to the Convention to arrange with one another to ensure that compensation shall be paid in respect of accidents occurring in a foreign country. I think it would be most inadvisable, even if it were practicable, for any single country to adopt a system different from that which the Conference representative of all the countries affected recommended as the best system. There is, of course, no reciprocal arrangement at present, but under this Bill we are taking power to enter into such a reciprocal arrangement and it is proposed to exercise that power, in all cases where it is necessary, as soon as possible.

I strongly urge that this matter should be left to be dealt with in that way as it seems to be altogether the most satisfactory way. The Deputy by his amendment undoubtedly does attempt to deal with the situation, but in making that attempt he creates a number of other difficulties which would not arise if the method of reciprocal arrangement were adopted.

I am clearly and strongly of the opinion that the circumstances which the amendment endeavours to cover require no international arrangements whatever. I want to know where does the necessity for an international arrangement arise in a case in which an agricultural labourer is employed on a farm, portion of which is in the Irish Free State and portion in Northern Ireland. Let us say that the agricultural labourer lives with his employer in the Irish Free State. If he meets with an accident in one field he is entitled to get compensation, while if he meets with the accident in another field over the Border, a matter of a few yards away, the Minister suggests that such a situation will require an international arrangement in order that the man may be enabled to sue his employer with whom he is living in the Free State. It seems to be perfect nonsense to suggest that.

Assume that the dwelling house is on the other side of the Border and the converse case could arise.

The Northern legislature can give a workman power to seek compensation just as we can give our workman power, without any international convention. So far as the British Parliament is concerned, take the case of a rich man travelling with his valet on the Continent. Suppose the valet meets with an accident arising in the course of his employment in the South of France. It is quite competent for the British Parliament to legislate so that the servant, if he meets with an accident, is entitled to sue his master in the British courts. That requires no international arrangement nor does the kind of transaction I envisage come within the scope of an international arrangement. An international arrangement has no relation whatever to that set of circumstances. Unless this amendment is accepted, or some amendment like it, we will have this condition of affairs existing until there is an international arrangement with Great Britain or Northern Ireland, whenever such can be effected — Tibb's Eve probably.

Say there is a chauffeur driving a motor car from County Monaghan to County Donegal. The shortest way is through Northern Ireland — it is an hour's run in a car. If the chauffeur meets with an accident on the bridge at Strabane he has no right of action against his employer, no compensation; but if he meets with an accident in Lifford he is entitled to get compensation. To suggest that it requires an international arrangement to provide that in such circumstances an Irish workman living in Ireland cannot bring proceedings for compensation against his Irish employer, who lives in the Free State, is somewhat absurd.

I did not say it required an international arrangement. I said that was the most desirable procedure. Of course, the Deputy can multiply by ten the anomalies that may exist.

I could give instance after instance where grave injustice is bound to be suffered by working people.

I admit the amendment attempts to cover cases of that kind, but the amendment covers a lot more than that.

Why not limit the amendment then?

Because there is no satisfactory way of meeting the situation by amending the law of this country. A general conference of all countries was held and a very definite declaration was given and embodied in a convention which we have ratified. There is the fact that the Inter-Departmental Committee recommended that the matter should be dealt with by reciprocal arrangement. There was a recommendation made by Mr. Justice Hanna, whom Deputies have admitted is an authority on this law. There are numerous cases that could arise and that require international action. There are cases where the interests of our citizens are definitely involved. If, for instance, a Northern employer goes to Sligo, employs workmen, and one of the workmen is injured, the Northern employer can go back to Northern Ireland, and it may not be possible for the Sligo workman who has been injured to get compensation from him.

A variety of cases can arise which can only be effectively dealt with by reciprocal arrangements. My point is that reciprocal arrangements are essential. It is the only method of dealing with anomalies and, obviously, it is the best method. It is the method recommended by Mr. Justice Hanna, it is the method recommended by the Committee set up to consider workmen's compensation, and it is the method recommended by authorities in other countries. That is the method which we are empowering ourselves to adopt by this Bill. In fact, the case for urgency is not such as has been conveyed by the Deputy here, because there is a working arrangement at present between insurance companies by which compensation to Saorstát employees injured in Northern Ireland can be paid. The fact that that working arangement is there is, in itself, an important factor to be taken into consideration. The consequence is, therefore, that the number of cases where failure to obtain compensation is likely to arise is much fewer than might be assumed to be the case.

We are not responsible for the fact that there has been a delay in making these reciprocal arrangements. We are not responsible for the fact that it is only in 1933 a Workmen's Compensation Bill is before the Dáil to implement the report brought in by a Committee set up in 1926. When the Bill is passed by the Oireachtas we will try to get reciprocal arrangements not only with the countries mentioned by the Deputy, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but with all countries. The Deputy has been thinking only of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There is some doubt as to whether the enactment of this amendment would enable an injured workman to get workmen's compensation twice if the accident took place in Great Britain. The balance of opinion seems to be that he could not get workmen's compensation twice. There are, however, other countries involved, and if the amendment were passed it is possible that in a number of these countries the employer could be made pay twice for the same injury. Nobody wants that situation to arise, and it is precisely because there are all these difficulties in the case that it is obvious that this matter has to be dealt with in the manner recommended by Mr. Justice Hanna, by the Committee set up to inquire into the matter and by every expert body that has considered it.

I do not wish to go over the ground that I have already gone over on the Committee Stage, but I cannot allow some of the statements of the Minister to pass unchallenged. It is news to me that there is a working arrangement between the insurance companies by which there will be paid to the dependants of an injured or deceased workman compensation in respect of an accident arising in Northern Ireland or in England. The only case I know of that has come up in this country in the last 12 or 18 months was a case in which I was engaged myself on behalf of the employee. That case was fought by the insurance company and they raised this very point that the injury occurred outside the Free State. That case is at present under appeal. That is the only case that has occurred in the last 12 or 18 months. The insurance companies took up the point that it occurred outside the Saorstát.

I should say that the working arrangements are made by insurance companies known as tariff companies.

I am pretty sure that this was a tariff company. It was a very big British company. However, that is only a side issue. I want to press on the Minister this fact that he has not appreciated that the necessity for reciprocal arrangement between this country and Great Britain or Northern Ireland or any foreign company arises out of one fact — the desirability and the necessity for having machinery to make effective the award of compensation. That is the only necessity for having an international arrangement. The cases that I have put to this House and that I have envisaged in my amendment are cases in which there is no necessity for international arrangement, if there were effective machinery to give effect to the judgments of the courts. Take the case where the workman is living in the Free State and the employer is living in the Free State. The service of any documents can be effected under the rules of court under the law of the Free State, and if a judgment is given, that judgment can be given effect to in the ordinary process by the courts of law in the Free State.

The Minister referred to a Northern Ireland employer coming to Sligo and employing a workman there as the reason why it might be necessary to have an international arrangement with Northern Ireland, as you have no machinery at present in existence by which you can serve that man with a process to enable him to be brought before the courts. That is in the first case and in the second case you have no machinery to give effect to a decree of the courts if a decree is obtained. In such cases arrangements with Northern Ireland are necessary, but cases that require no international arrangement and which if international arrangements are made will not come within the scope of this arrangement are cases in which the workman and the employer are living in the Free State and the accident takes place outside the Free State. There is no necessity for reciprocal arrangements in that case.

If the contract of service were made in Northern Ireland, a workman injured in Northern Ireland has an action against the employer, and if the employer has assets there, these assets can be distrained, and if that is done here again, and the man gets compensation twice, are we acting fairly to the employer?

I should say not, and the amendment I put down will cover that. There should be no double right of action. What I want to impress on the Minister is that you are dealing with a purely domestic matter where a contract of service is made in the Free State between an employer living in the Free State, and a workman living in the Free State, the only element of extra territoriality in the entire transaction consists of the fact that the accident takes place outside our jurisdiction. Everything else is within our jurisdiction and to state that in such cases an international arrangement is necessary is, to my mind, stating a thing that I cannot understand.

I have listened to the arguments of the Minister and I really fail to understand his objection to the amendment. He mentioned the necessity for an international agreement and he quotes Mr. Justice Hanna and the Workmen's Compensation Committee in support of his objection. Will we not have precisely the same result as regards Workmen's Compensation if we wait for an international agreement? I fail to understand why workmen who are employed under contract in this country but who are outside the jurisdiction of the Free State should not be protected in regard to injuries arising outside the Free State. I think in the case to which Deputy Costello referred about an employee in Liverpool meeting with an injury there in the course of his employment and who is the employee of a man living in this country that he should be entitled to recover compensation in this country. Why should he not be entitled because his employer raises the point that the accident occurred outside the jurisdiction of the Saorstát courts? I think that the number of cases where accidents may occur outside of Great Britain or Northern Ireland to a person who has no contract with an employer here will be negligible. I would urge on the Government that it is their duty to protect our own nationals. I cannot see why the Minister must wait for an international convention to enable him to say why a workman here who in the course of his employment meets with an accident in Northern Ireland or Great Britain should not be compensated as a workman in this country. I think the Minister ought to accept the amendment.

I would like to know from the Minister whether he anticipates that any difficulties will arise in connection with the setting up of machinery for making this reciprocal arrangement as between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. These are the countries that will be chiefly affected. I can see that there is a strong case for doing something in this Bill for meeting that sort of a semi-domestic problem around the Border, a case for doing something in respect to a certain amount of interchangeability between employment here and employment in Great Britain. I can see also that the matter will not be dealt with fully by Deputy Costello's amendment. In many respects the Convention which was ratified by the Free State some five or six years ago will provide machinery for enabling all those international matters to be dealt with in a much more comprehensive way, but it may take quite a considerable time to bring that about. As a matter of fact it may be impossible to do much in respect to some countries, unless there is a certain amount of interchangeability. Perhaps the Minister would examine the matter before the Bill goes to the Seanad, and see if it would be possible to get the Convention arrangement into working order so far as Great Britain and Northern Ireland are concerned, and if no abnormal delay seems likely to arise perhaps he would reconsider the question in relation to both these Administrations.

Is the purpose of the Convention, which the Minister has in mind, to get the agreement of Northern Ireland or Great Britain to this workman bringing his case for an accident that occurs in Northern Ireland in our courts here?

There are a number of matters which will have to be fixed by agreement. The case to which reference has been made is only typical of some of the matters that will have to be covered. A number of suggestions are made in the Report of the Committee. It embodies what was conveyed to it by Mr. Justice Hanna, and gives an indication of the type of matters which would naturally form the basis of such an arrangement. The first suggestion is that every domiciled Irishman while working anywhere, whether inside or outside the jurisdiction of an Irish employer, should be entitled to bring proceedings in the Free State courts.

The purpose of this Bill is to provide compensation for Free State workmen injured and so on. Is it not the Minister's responsibility to attend to that?

The purpose of the Bill is to provide compensation for accidents that occur in the Irish Free State as the purpose of the British and Northern Ireland legislation is to provide compensation for accidents that occur in their territories. There are certain circumstances in which a workman will not get compensation for an accident. That is a matter for reciprocal arrangement. I do not anticipate that there will be any difficulty about that because obviously it would be more to the interest of Great Britain and Northern Ireland than it would be to us that such an arrangement should be made.

Our job is to see that if a workman from the Free State meets with an accident in either Great Britain or Northern Ireland, he will be able to get compensation in our courts.

Take the case of a Northern Ireland contractor bringing a workman from Northern Ireland in here and that he meets with an accident?

It is their job to look after that. What we are concerned with now is the case of a workman in the Irish Free State who, for instance, meets with an accident in Northern Ireland. He surely should be able to get compensation in our courts.

They accepted the same views as ourselves, and also have ratified the International Convention.

Does our adherence to the International Convention preclude us from making provision for cases such as Deputy Costello has dealt with?

No suggestion has been made which would permit of our law being amended so as to deal only with the very peculiar type of cases that Deputy Costello referred to, cases that, as Deputy Rice pointed out, occur very rarely indeed. Deputy Costello's amendment covers a very much wider variety of cases than those that have been mentioned, and considerable difficulty would arise in giving effect to it.

I suggest for the Minister's consideration that even if my amendment is too wide, at least a case has been made which he might consider should be met on this Bill. The case which I have suggested to him will not form the subject matter of any article or any agreement in an International Convention. If the Minister could see his way to make specific provision in this Bill for a state of affairs where an accident occurs outside the jurisdiction of this State to an Irish Free State workman, living in the Irish Free State and employed under a contract of service made in the Irish Free State with an employer living in the Irish Free State, then I suggest to him that state of facts could be very easily covered by a simple amendment. I suggest to him that state of facts could not be envisaged as coming within the scope of any international arrangement. It does not require to come within the scope of any international arrangement. A very simple amendment would meet that state of facts. I think the very least the Minister can do is to provide in the Bill for a workman meeting with an accident in circumstances such as I have outlined. This is a matter on which I personally feel very strongly. Possibly the amendment is too wide. I put it down in very wide terms in order to draw the attention of the House, and of the Minister in particular to the problems that have to be met. I would be quite satisfied if, in this Bill, provision could be made for what I say would not under any circumstances form the subject of an international agreement.

I will undertake to consider if we can get an amendment which, in its operation, will be confined to cover such cases as have been mentioned, cases where the contract of service is made here, where the employer has no assets in the territory where the accident took place and where the presence of the employee in that territory was associated with the employer's business here. That, I think, would cover the type of case referred to: a man bringing a racehorse to England or a chauffeur driving a car in Northern Ireland.

And where the contract is made here?

Undoubtedly.

I am perfectly satisfied with that.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendments 9 and 10:—

9. —In page 7, Section 18 (2) (a), to insert in line 57 before the word "dependant" the word "adult," and to insert in line 58 before the word "dependants" the word "adult."

10. —In page 8, Section 18 (2) (b), lines 7 and 8, to delete the words "child under the age of fifteen years at the time of his death" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant"; in line 10 to delete the word "child" and substitute the word "dependant"; in lines 11 and 12 to delete the words "children under the age of fifteen years at the time of his death" and substitute the words "juvenile dependants"; and in line 14 to delete the word "children" and substitute the word "dependants."

These are consequential on amendment 6.

Amendments agreed to.

Amendment 11 is out of order, and cannot be moved.

Amendment No. 12:—

In page 10, Section 22 (1), lines 57, 58 and 59, to delete the words "member of the family dependent on his earnings but does not leave any child or children dependent on his earnings" and substitute the words "dependant but does not leave any juvenile dependant"; in page 11, lines 5, 6 and 7, to delete the words "member of the family dependent on his earnings and also leaves a child or children dependent on his earnings" and substitute the words "dependant and also leaves a juvenile dependant"; and in page 11, lines 14, 15 and 16, to delete the words "member of the family dependent on his earnings but leaves any child or children dependent on his earnings" and substitute the words "dependant but leaves a juvenile dependant."—(Aire Tionnscail agus Tráchtála.)

Agreed to.

Amendment No. 13:—

In page 11 to delete Section 22 (3). —(Aire Tionnscail agus Tráchtála.)

Agreed to.

I move amendment No. 14:—

In page 11 to delete Section 24 and substitute the following section:—

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section if a workman, who has so far recovered from the injury as to be fit for employment of a certain kind, has failed to obtain employment and it appears to the court either—

(a) that, having regard to all the circumstances, it is probable that the workman would, but for the continuing effects of the injury, be able to obtain work in the same grade in the same class of employment as before the accident; or

(b) that his failure to obtain employment is a consequence, whether wholly or mainly, of the injury,

the court shall order that the workman's incapacity shall be treated as total incapacity resulting from the injury for such period, and subject to such conditions, as may be provided by the order, without prejudice, however, to the right of review conferred by this Act.

(2) No order shall be made under this section if it appears to the court that the workman has not taken all reasonable steps to obtain employment.

(3) Every order under this section shall be made subject to the condition that it shall cease to be in force if the workman receives unemployment benefit.

(4) An order under this section may be made notwithstanding that any order or orders under this section has or have been previously made in relation to the same workman in respect of the same injury.

If Deputy Dillon wishes to press his amendment No. 15 he can do so. I do not think he will, because the point he wishes to make is covered by sub-section (4) of the proposed new section. The purpose of Section 24 is obvious. It is to insure that where a workman who is drawing benefit recovers from his injuries, and is capable of performing light work, but is unable to obtain that work, and his failure to obtain it is attributable to his injuries, the court has power to make an order entitling him to receive compensation as if totally incapacitated. That is the object of the section. A similar section was inserted in the British legislation in 1923 but some time ago a decision was given in the House of Lords as to the interpretation of that section which completely nullified its effect and made it inoperative. The decision became a matter of considerable controversy. Subsequently in Great Britain an attempt was made to find a form of words to get rid of the House of Lords' decision, and, at the same time, to provide against the obvious danger that would arise from the operation of a section like that. They brought in a form of words similar to those that we propose to insert into this Bill. I do not know whether they are satisfactory or not. This part of the Bill has given more trouble than any other part. No attempt we could make here could produce a better form of words. It became a matter of trial and error. That was the form adopted in Great Britain. We have profited by their experiences and so we propose to insert a section similar to the British section. It could be that we might take the risk of leaving Section 24 of the Bill as it stands and leaving our courts to give an interpretation. I do not think we should take that risk, having regard to the fact that different interpretations were given in Great Britain, although there were a number of authorities held that it was a wrong decision. I am satisfied that the best course to take was to change our legislation so as to make the law correspond in this respect to the latest attempt made a short time ago in Great Britain. We have a different sub-section (4) to meet a point. It does not exist in the British Act. It is to meet a point raised in the course of the discussion on the initiative of Deputy Dillon. It is to ensure where a workman got an order entitling him to full compensation, and becomes entitled to insurance benefit, or gets work, the order in such event becomes automatically inoperative. If he ceases to get the benefit or loses work then the workman can again apply to the court to be given full compensation if he satisfies the court as to paragraphs (a) and (b) of sub-section (1).

The workman pays unemployment insurance in part-time occupation. What does he pay for? If he pays unemployment insurance he is entitled to get some benefit, but in this instance he loses in any case.

What about sub-section (3)?

This section deals with the case of a worker who is only entitled under this law to partial compensation. In special circumstances he might get full compensation. One of the circumstances that would prevent his getting full compensation is the circumstance that he is drawing full unemployment benefit. Take a workman who earned £2 a week. If he gets partial compensation, plus unemployment insurance benefit, and additional benefit because of his wife and children, then, between them, he gets more than he got before the accident. So there is no case to give him full compensation and benefit at the same time. The fact that he is getting benefit or has got work is a good case for giving him only the partial compensation to which he is statutorily entitled.

I take it that the Minister is taking a case which would show that a man would get greater advantages with partial compensation or full compensation plus unemployment benefit. Are there not intermediate cases in which that would not occur? What is difficult to understand is that a man who pays his contribution towards unemployment insurance continues to pay while drawing his unemployment benefit.

He only pays contribution if in employment, and if in employment he does not get the full compensation.

He gets 10/- a week. Does he pay contribution stamps upon that?

He does.

For what? If a man is insured he ought to be entitled to get the benefit of that insurance. That case is altogether different from the other one.

So it is. If a man sustains an injury and is totally incapacitated he gets compensation on the basis of 75 per cent. of his preaccident earnings, but if he recovers sufficiently to be able to undertake light work and secures such work, then while he is at this light work he gets compensation on the basis of 75 per cent. or 80 per cent. of the difference between what he earned before and what he earned after the accident. If he loses that work he becomes entitled to Insurance benefit. But the case that is covered by the section is that of a man who, although recovered, is unable to obtain light work, and is unable to obtain that work because of his injuries. He can go to court and get full compensation. If he gets work that full compensation ceases to be payable and partial compensation is payable. And as I have said it is really in the interest of the worker that that should be so. The difference between partial compensation and full compensation is in all cases likely to be much less than the amount of unemployment insurance benefit, to which a worker would be entitled.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Amendment No. 15 not moved.

I move amendment No. 16:—

In page 12, before Section 25, to insert a new section as follows:—

Where a workman sustains permanent disfigurement from injury by accident occurring in connection with his employment the court shall have such power to award such workman such lump sum as it thinks fit. The lump sum awarded under this section shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other payment to which the workman may be entitled under this Act, but such sum as may be awarded for permanent disfigurement shall in no case exceed £100.

The purpose of the amendment is to make it possible for an injured workman who sustains permanent disfigurement from injury arising out of or in connection with his employment to obtain compensation in respect of that disfigurement. The Bill as drafted makes no provision whatever for compensation in a case like that. Take for instance a shop assistant. A girl shop assistant may, in the course of her duties, be on a ladder taking down goods or boxes off a shelf; she may fall from the ladder and may suffer such injury as to cause permanent facial disfigurement. The girl may recover from the injury in, say, three weeks or a month. During that period she will get compensation under this Bill at the maximum of 30/- per week. At the end of the four weeks she is fit to resume duty, but if she suffers any permanent facial disfigurement arising out of the accident that permanent facial disfigurement would not operate to entitle the girl to a continuance of workmen's compensation. A person would be entitled to compensation so long as he was unable to carry out his work, but a person might be permanently disfigured facially and be quite capable of carrying out his work. Because of the fact that he was capable of carrying out his work he would be entitled to no compensation whatever for permanent facial disfigurement. If you take an assistant in a shop, facial disfigurement may be a considerable barrier to that person securing employment at that particular occupation. If a commercial traveller meets with an accident, and arising out of the accident sustains permanent facial disfigurement, he may find it quite difficult to secure employment as a commercial traveller again. His disfigurement may not commend itself to the employer, who may think that he requires a man of a different kind to travel for his goods. I would suggest to the Minister, therefore, that he ought to make provision in the Bill for permanent disfigurement. I have in mind mainly facial disfigurement. I suggest that it should be possible to recover compensation for that kind of disfigurement, because of the fact that it may result in the person not merely finding it very difficult to secure employment after meeting with the accident but in many cases may result in his finding it utterly impossible to obtain employment in the particular industry in which he was formerly employed.

The Workmen's Compensation code is designed to provide compensation for workers who lose their lives, or have their earning power reduced by industrial accidents. If the nature of the injury is facial disfigurement, the worker is fully entitled to compensation if he can show that his earning power has been ended or reduced by that injury. The mere fact that the person may be less satisfied with life, or something like that, does not entitle him to compensation under this Bill. If the earning power is lessened the person becomes fully entitled to compensation. It is not claimed that the amount payable is full compensation for the injuries received. In that connection there is an attempt made to hold the balance as between the employer and the worker. We should bear in mind that we are making the employer liable — and liable in all circumstances. I mean that the existing law provides for making the employer liable. Even if the worker is injured while doing something which the employer ordered him not to do, even if the worker is injured while doing something contrary to the law but doing it in the course of his employment, even if the worker is injured while doing something in defiance of every regulation made by the State and by his employer, nevertheless the employer is liable to pay compensation. Because of that, because the onus to pay compensation is put on the employer and the worker is assured compensation no matter what the circumstances, provided the injury arose in or out of the course of his employment, the code in this country does not provide for full compensation for the injuries. The compensation paid is an attempt to meet the loss of earning power which results. It covers all cases, even cases of facial disfigurement, if—and only if — the loss of earning power is there. In so far as Deputy Norton stressed the point that in particular trades facial disfigurement might mean loss of earning power, my answer is that that is met by the Bill at the present time, in so far as the Circuit Court Judge would, no doubt, take into account the nature of the trade and the qualifications of the worker to earn a livelihood, having regard to the disfigurement. If he is satisfied that the disfigurement is liable to cause a lessening of the earning power then compensation is payable.

Is the Minister suggesting, for example, that if a man injured his finger in scutching flax, and the finger as a result is disfigured, but physically efficient, the judge would take that into account in awarding compensation?

Oh, no. The judge will take into account any lessening in earning power. If that person was, say, a worker in metals, or a worker in some other skilled occupation which would require the use of five fingers in each hand, undoubtedly a reduction in earning power would result, in which case compensation would be paid. Compensation is not payable for disfigurement, unless such disfigurement, having regard to the nature of the occupation which the person was following, definitely resulted in less earning power.

That is not disfigurement; it is physical incapacity. They are two very distinct things.

I think that, although Deputy Norton did not mention it when he cited the case of a female assistant in a shop who received facial disfigurement, he must have had the matrimonial market in view, because certainly the case is covered under the Workmen's Compensation Act. Compensation is awardable for obvious disfigurement which reduces the chances of getting work; for example, the removal of an eye, whether its sight had been previously impaired (Martin v. Barnell, 1910) or whether it was previously but not apparently a blind eye; (Ball v. Hunt, 1912), when Lord Loreburn said: "There is incapacity for work when a man has a physical defect which makes his labour unsaleable in any market reasonably accessible to him, and there is partial incapacity for work when such a defect makes his labour unsaleable for less than it would otherwise fetch." The amendment as proposed introduces common law. Who is going to decide what is disfigurement? If a man lost the top of his finger or got a scar on his hand or face is that disfigurement? I think that the case is perfectly covered under the present law.

Amendment No. 16, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment 17:—

In page 12, line 44, Section 26 (3), to delete the word "workmen" and substitute the word "workman."

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 18:—

In page 12, lines 51 and 56, Section 26 (3), to delete the word "ten" and substitute the word "twenty-one" in each case.

Deputy Norton suggested that the term "ten days" provided in the section would not be adequate to enable a workman to make up his mind on the issues he would have to decide. I see no objection to extending the period to 21 days.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendments 19 and 20:—

In page 13, line 4, Section 26 (4), to delete the word "a".

In page 13, line 25, Section 26 (5) (a), to insert before the word "examination" the word "medical".

Amendments agreed to.

I move amendment 21:—

In page 19, lines 7, 13 and 14, Section 43, to delete the words "or agent."

The Incorporated Law Society and other legal organisations suggested this amendment. The existing Act provides for securing the expenses of the solicitor or agent of the workman. The term "or agent" was inserted because the workman had a right instead of going to the court to have an arbitration board set up. Arbitration was never availed of in this country and, by this Bill, we are abolishing it, so that it is unnecessary to retain the term "or agent."

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 22:—

In page 19, line 27, at the end of Section 44, to add the words "provided always that where there is no disagreement between the parties as to the ascertainment of the dependents of the workman and the amount of the compensation, such amount as laid down in this Act may be lodged in Court and the Court shall proceed to determine the allocation of such compensation amongst the dependents."

Acceptance of this amendment will make for easier, speedier and cheaper law for all concerned.

The Deputy will remember that when this amendment was before the House on the Committee Stage I indicated agreement with it, more or less, and I suggested that if he withdrew it I might produce one of the same kind at this stage. When I went into the matter I found that it would be most inadvisable to do so. The difficulty I saw was that the employer would have no effective means of knowing whether all the persons entitled to compensation as dependants were, in fact, associated with the agreement presented to him. This section only applies to cases where there are dependants. Two or three people might come along saying that they were dependants of a deceased workman and that they had agreed amongst themselves on the compensation to be awarded. They might be doing that fraudulently, by leaving out other persons with claims as good as theirs. The employer would have no means of checking such an agreement, and consequently, I think it much better to leave the Bill as it is, requiring the agreement to come before the court. The court has power to inquire into all the circumstances and if it passes an agreement the employer is secured.

The employer only pays the money into court and it is then open to the court to be satisfied as to how it will be paid out. The workman in most cases is represented but, in any case, the employer has to pay the money into court. I suggest that the matter will come before the registrar and in that way it will lead to the money reaching the relatives quicker than any other way.

While I do not say so definitely, I am under the impression that an arrangement of this kind is in operation at present under the Rules of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906. No doubt when this Bill is passed similar rules will be made, releasing the employer from liability and letting the matter be decided by a judge.

I leave the matter in the Minister's hands.

I think it is better to leave the Bill as it stands.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Rice

I move amendment 23:—

In page 21, to delete Section 55 and substitute a new section as follows:—

Every redemption agreement, commutation agreement, and agreement by way of compromise shall be submitted to the court for approval before registration, and where it appears to the court that the lump sum is inadequate or that for any other reason that seems sufficient the agreement should not be registered, the court may make an order directing that such agreement shall not be registered.

It will be in the recollection of the Minister that I had an amendment in almost similar terms on the Committee Stage, and that acceptance of it was to be considered before this stage. This amendment is not in identical terms, for this reason, that the amendment accepted by the House on the Committee Stage was the Minister's amendment. The Minister was anxious that his amendment would be accepted for the reason that he had in it the words "for any reason which seems to him sufficient." That is to say, that the court or registrar would reject an agreement not merely on the ground of the inadequacy of the sum but for other reasons. I agree with the Minister that it is desirable to have that made plain in the section and I have embodied it in the amendment. The main principle of my amendment is that all these cases of redemption agreements and commutation agreements should come before the court because they are agreements finally determining a workman's rights. As it is the most important event in his life after the man meets with an accident I think determination whether an agreement should be accepted or not should be a judicial act, and should not merely pass through the office under the supervision of the registrar. This is such an important matter for a workman that it should go before the judge instead of going through the office as a matter of registration. There is a very strong reason why a different procedure should be adopted in England, where there are an enormous number of cases to be dealt with. In this country the numbers are very small and should go before a judge for sanction. I should like to have particular attention directed to the adequacy or otherwise of the lump sum, and to have the words "any other reason that seems sufficient" determined by the judge. That would not put any further burden upon the circuit judges. It will result quite probably in a workman getting a fairer deal when he comes to have a redemption agreement or a commutation agreement dealt with.

I am afraid I could not agree with the Deputy. We must bear in mind the subject matter. A number of people would argue that we should not be spoon-feeding people, and that if a workman enters into an agreement it is his job to see that he enters into one that is fair to himself. It has been suggested that workmen are occasionally tricked into agreements that are detrimental to their interests, and that consequently it is desirable to devise some means to ensure that a third party would come in and have regard to the nature of the agreement. The Bill provides that the court registrar will be that party. He is given this power. If an agreement comes before the registrar, if there is any case for reconsideration, he can refer it to the circuit judge. The proposal of the Deputy is that all agreements should automatically go before the judge, whether there was anything wrong with them or not, and whether the workman had got the best or the worst of the bargain. That would be undesirable and would mean unnecessary litigation, certain delays, and costs which we should try to avoid. Deputy Rice perhaps would have a different opinion.

Mr. Rice

Has the Minister considered how many of these agreements would come before a judge in the course of a year? The Act of 1906 gives this protection to a workman, and specific attention is drawn to the adequacy of the sum. That is not done in this Bill.

The term here is wider.

Mr. Rice

But it does not draw attention to a matter that concerns the workman.

Nevertheless it gives the county registrar full power.

I agree with the argument put forward by Deputy Rice and I think he has put up an unanswerable case. I am surprised at the attitude the Minister has taken up. No matter what he thinks, it is common knowledge that workers have been tricked in the past by insurance companies in agreements about compensation. Prior to a final settlement being made, there is always a stoppage of the weekly alimony for, perhaps, three or four weeks and in some cases a couple of months, and when these people are offered £10 or £20 for a settlement they think it a fabulous sum. They have possibly been on the verge of starvation in the meantime and without any advice from anybody who ought to know what the position should be, they accept that £10 or £20. I submit that Deputy Rice's argument in this connection is perfectly right and that any agreement should be ratified by the Circuit Court judge.

Deputy Corish says that he is surprised at the attitude I have taken up but I am astonished by the attitude he is taking up.

The Bill provides for a check on the agreement. It provides for a cheap check on the agreement. It provides for a check which is not going to involve the workman in legal costs and is not going to involve him in delay. Deputy Rice says: "Bring the agreement before the Circuit Court judge." That means litigation and it means cost and delay. We say: "Let the registrar do that work and let him do it without cost to the workman." It will be done much more expeditiously than would be the case under the amendment. The check is there and from the point of view of the workman it is obviously much more satisfactory that he should get that check provided without cost and without delay.

Mr. Rice

I join issue with the Minister when he says that this will put additional cost on the workman. It will do nothing of the kind. Whether the agreement is brought into the registrar's office or put into the judge's list cannot make any difference. The only cost in either event is the attendance of a solicitor. That is all the cost there is in it. It does not put any cost on the workman. I could say a great deal more on this subject than I have said on it up to the present moment. There are people employed by insurance companies whose business it is to go around to workmen and effect compromise agreements and I do not want to see those agreements put through without the protection of having a judge inspect them and seeing whether they are right or wrong.

Surely the registrar can do that just as well?

Mr. Rice

No. I think I have answered the Minister's point in that. This is an agreement finally determining the workman's rights and it should be a judicial act and it should be done in the presence of a judge.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment 24, in the name of Deputy Dillon.

This deals with the same matter as amendment No. 23. I am definitely of opinion that it is better to leave the wide term contained in the Bill at present and allow the court registrar to deal with it rather than have the limiting words put in here.

Amendment 24 not moved.

I move amendment 25:

In page 24, to insert at the end of Section 64 (1) the words "and for the purposes of such application, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) the Minister for Finance shall be deemed to be the employer, and

(b) notwithstanding anything in any other enactment, proceedings under this Act may be brought against the said Minister without obtaining the fiat of the Attorney-General."

This is designed to meet a point suggested in Committee by Deputy Costello and, in fact, provided by Deputy Costello in amendment 26.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment 26 not moved.

I move amendment 27:—

In page 25, Section 66 (1), to delete paragraph (d) and to substitute the following paragraph:—

(d) where—

(i) an injured master, seaman, or apprentice is discharged or left behind in any country outside Saorstát Eireann, and

(ii) proceedings are taken under this Act by or in respect of such master, seaman or apprentice, and

(iii) the deposition of any witness respecting the circumstances and nature of the injury has been taken in any such country on oath by a person entitled by the law to take in that country affidavits for use in matters before the High Court, and

(iv) such deposition purports to be sealed with the seal and to have affixed thereto the signature of such person,

such deposition shall, upon due proof that such witness is not in Saorstát Eireann, be received in such proceedings as prima facie evidence of the matters stated therein without proof of the seal or signature of such person or of the status or official character of such person.

This is designed to simplify and make clear the procedure under which depositions can be taken abroad in relation to an accident taking place abroad.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 28:—

In page 25, line 39, Section 66 (1) (c), to insert after the word "death" the words "by accident."

This is an amendment suggested by Deputy Costello. I asked him to hold it over for Report Stage and it appears now in both our names.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment 29 not moved.

I move amendments 30, 31, 32 and 33:

In page 34, Second Schedule, Rule 1, line 3, to delete the words "member of the family" and subtitute the word "dependant."

In page 34, Second Schedule, Rule 2, lines 35, 36 and 37, to delete the words "member of the family wholly dependent on his earnings but leaves any adult members of the family" and substitute the words "dependant wholly dependent on his earnings but leaves any adult dependant"; in line 41, to delete the words "any of such adult members of the family" and substitute the words "such adult dependant"; and in line 44, to delete the words "members of the family" and substitute the words "dependant or, if the workman leaves two or more adult dependants, such dependants."

In page 34, Second Schedule, Rule 3, lines 45 and 46, to delete the words "child or children and such child was or all such children" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant or juvenile dependants and such dependant was or all such dependants"; in sub-paragraph (b), lines 54 and 58, to delete the word "child" and substitute in each line the words "juvenile dependant"; in page 35, sub-paragraph (c), lines 3, 5, 12, 17, 19, 20, 27, 32, 34, 39, 41, 42, 49, 54, 56, and 61, to delete the word "children" and substitute in each line the words "juvenile dependants"; in page 36, sub-paragraph (c), lines 1, 6, 8, 10, 17, 23, 25, 31, 34, 39, and 41, to delete the word "children" and substitute in each line the words "juvenile dependants"; in sub-paragraph (d), lines 43 and 49, to delete the word "child" and substitute in each line the words "juvenile dependant"; in sub-paragraph (e), line 55, to delete the word "children" and substitute the words "juvenile dependants"; and in subsection (2), lines 4 and 6, to delete the word "child" and substitute in each line the words "juvenile dependant."

In page 37, Second Schedule, Rule 4, lines 8 and 9, to delete the words "child or children and such child or children" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant or juvenile dependants and such juvenile dependant or juvenile dependants"; and in line 13, to delete the words "child or all such children" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant or all such juvenile dependants."

These are all consequential on amendment No. 6.

Amendments 30, 31, 32 and 33 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 34:—

In page 38, line 8, third schedule, rule 2, to delete the word "thirty" and substitute the word "thirty-five."

The object of this amendment is to try to preserve the existing maximum of compensation at 35/- per week. The Bill reduces the maximum from 35/- per week and fixes it at 30/- per week. The Minister in the course of the discussion on the Bill tried to defend many things on the grounds that they were recommended to him by the Committee. The Committee, in this particular instance, recommended the continuance of the existing maximum of 35/- per week and in this particular respect the Minister has thrown overboard completely the recommendation of the Committee in respect to the maximum compensation. The Minister tried to defend his action in this matter on the Committee Stage by saying that when the Committee recommended the continuance of the 35/- per week maximum, they did so in 1926 and the Minister stated that the cost of living was higher then than it is now and that probably if they were dealing with the matter now they would not have recommended the continuance of the maximum at that figure. While saying that in one breath, the Minister has also pointed out that he is not responsible for the shameful delay in introducing this Bill and putting into operation the recommendations of the Committee since 1926.

The Minister cannot have it both ways. He should not reduce the maximum compensation from 35/- or he is not sorry that this Act was not introduced in 1926. If it were introduced in 1926, the maximum of 35/- would have been inserted in the Bill in all likelihood because this reduction could not be justified then on the grounds that the cost-of-living index figure had fallen. That maximum of 35/-, if it had been put into the Bill in 1926 or 1927, would be in operation to-day and would presumably continue in operation, taking no notice of fluctuations in the cost-of-living index figure from time to time. I think that that case of the Minister is a particularly weak one because whatever figure had been put into the Bill would have taken no notice of the tendency of the cost-of-living figure any more than the figures which the Minister is now putting into the Bill will take any notice of movements in the cost of living once the Bill is passed. The argument of the movement in the cost of living is a particularly thin one to use in support of his attitude.

When speaking earlier this evening the Minister stated that he had discovered as a result of some researches which he had made that he was the one consistent member of the House. I fear I cannot congratulate him on having preserved that consistency. I do not think the Minister is nearly so consistent as he imagines. In 1929 when Deputy Rice's Bill was referred to a Committee, the Minister as a member of that Committee signed and presumably read the Report of the Committee. The Minister knows he was on that Committee with Deputy Ruttledge as he was then. During the discussion on Deputy Rice's Bill in Committee, Deputy Good moved an amendment to reduce the maximum compensation from 35/- to 30/-. That amendment was defeated and defeated with the support of the then Deputy Lemass and the then Deputy Ruttledge. All I want the Minister to do is to maintain consistency with his 1929 attitude.

That is easily done.

If the Minister thought in 1929 that a maximum of 35/- was desirable, and if he deplores that there was any delay in putting the Bill into operation, I can see no reason why the Minister cannot see his way to provide the same amount of compensation now as was provided in Deputy Rice's Bill when it was being discussed in Committee of the House. I think there is a strong case for preserving the maximum at 35/-. It is not a princely sum. Many people who would be compelled to exist on that weekly compensation would be people who would each already have lost a couple of pounds a week as a result of their enforced idleness due to their meeting with accidents in the course of their employment. The Minister may say that in respect to people who were receiving £1 a week or less that he is giving them something more than is given in Britain. That is true, but he is not giving them any more than the Report recommended. He is scaling down the compensation for people who are in receipt of over £1 per week.

If the Minister looks at the Bill he will find that whereas these people get at present seven-eighths of their weekly wages, subject to a maximum of 35/- per week, the Minister is not providing for a payment of seven-eighths, but for a payment of 75 per cent., which is less than seven-eighths. Then he is cutting down the maximum from 35/- to 30/-. I cannot understand in whose interests that is being done. It is not being done in the interests of the workman who has earned more than £1 per week. It cannot be done in the interests of the employers, because the representatives of the employers signed the Report in 1926 agreeing to pay 35/- per week. They knew then that that 35/-, if inserted in a Bill and passed through the Dáil as it should have been within the next year or two, would have been in operation during 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1933. The representatives of the insurance companies also signed the Report agreeing to a maximum of 35/-. So you have got this position: that both the employers, the representatives of the insurance companies, and the other independent people who were on that Committee in 1925 agreed to continue the payment of compensation at a maximum of 35/- per week. The Minister is seeking to alter it, but his case for altering it is a very poor case. The Minister is also scaling down the compensation payable to workers although the employers and the insurance companies agreed to the continuance of the present maximum.

The Deputy has not quite stated all the facts. The position is that under the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1906, a workman who was totally incapacitated was entitled to get 50 per cent. of his pre-accident earnings subject to a maximum of £1 per week. That was the law in this country and in Great Britain until a very rapid inflation of prices took place towards the end of the Great War. Because of that inflation of prices, there was introduced in 1917 an Act designed to operate for one year which increased the compensation payable by 75 per cent. Every workman, who became injured, was entitled to get 50 per cent. of his pre-accident earnings increased by 75 per cent. subject to a maximum payment of £1 per week increased by 75 per cent. The inflation of prices, as Deputies are aware, continued longer than the year for which the temporary Act was introduced and the Act had to be renewed in 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921 and 1922. In 1922 the Free State was established and the course of events in Great Britain and this country took different lines. In Great Britain in 1922 an inter-departmental committee was established which considered the law relating to workmen's compensation and brought in a report, one of the recommendations of which was that the War Addition Act should be repealed and that the maximum rate of compensation of £1 per week should be increased to 30/- per week, but the method of calculating the amount to be paid was retained. A workman was entitled to get 50 per cent. of his pre-accident earnings subject to that maximum. At the time the change in the law was made in Great Britain no similar change was made here and, in fact, the temporary Act has been continued from year to year up to date. We are changing the law now and, although we are reducing the maximum from 35/- to 30/, as the Deputy stated, it should be emphasised that the method of calculation is also being changed, and that the workman, under the Bill, is entitled to get 75 per cent. or, in some cases, 80 per cent. of pre-accident earnings subject to the maximum. That is, in my opinion, a fairer method of assessing compensation. The consideration that a substantial reduction in the cost of living has taken place since 1923, when the British reduced their maximum to 30/-, and since 1925, when the Committee met, has also to be taken into account. The Deputy is wrong in stating that we are only paying more compensation than in Great Britain to people whose earnings are less than £1 per week.

I did not say that. I said you were paying more than in Great Britain.

Persons earning up to £2 15s. per week will still continue to get more compensation here than is being paid in Great Britain. A person earning 55/-, who is totally incapacitated, gets the maximum payment of 30/- here and 27/6 in Great Britain. At 50/- he is still on the maximum here, but only gets 25/- in Great Britain. At 40/- he is still on the maximum here, but only gets 22/6 in Great Britain. Our scale begins to go down at 35/-. He gets 26/3 and 21/3 in Great Britain, and so on down the scale. In each case the payment here is greater than in Great Britain; in no case is it lower. I do not think that either I or any member of the Government can be accused of being reactionary in matters of social legislation, but we have to consider a number of factors when determining the policy to be followed. It is reasonable to say that, although we are taking into account changes in the cost of living which have occurred, we are increasing substantially the compensation paid to workers who are injured and subject to the variations in the cost-of-living index. The fact is that we are proposing to pay under the Bill compensation to injured workmen which compares very favourably with the compensation paid in any country in the world.

I am quoting as to the legislation in other countries from the International Labour Office Report upon compensation for industrial accidents published in 1925. I have explained that the percentage of the pre-accident earnings we are paying here is 75 per cent. in the majority of cases and 80 per cent. in some cases. In no country in the world associated with the International Labour Office is a higher percentage than 70 paid except in one place, the kingdom of Yugo Slavia, where 100 per cent. compensation is paid with a very definite limitation as to the total amount payable. In all other cases, the percentage of pre-accident earnings paid to injured workmen is less than we are proposing to pay here. In the majority of cases it is 66? per cent. and in a number of cases only 50 per cent., as in Great Britain. We are proposing to pay 75 per cent., and in some cases 80 per cent.

In all European countries except three there is a maximum payment. In the three cases where there is no maximum payment it is difficult to make a comparison with conditions here. In Spain there is no maximum payment, but there is no weekly payment either. The compensation paid to a totally incapacitated workman is his earnings for two years paid in a lump sum and then he is finished. In Russia there is no maximum payment, but the percentage is 66? in all cases. In certain particular cases it rises to 100 per cent., but the general percentage is 66?. In part of Poland there appears to be no maximum payment. The position in that country in the year when the report was published was, apparently, that no national law had been passed and in each part of the country the law which had operated under the previous régime was still in operation. In one part of it there was no maximum payment provided for, but again the percentage was 66? up to a certain figure, and 22 2/9th beyond that figure. In all other cases the maximum payment, in so far as I have been able to ascertain the current rate of exchange, appears to be substantially lower than ours. It may be that I have calculated the rates of exchange in some countries incorrectly. In some cases they appear to be extraordinarily low indeed and in no way to be compared with the maximum proposed under the Bill.

Therefore, I think it is correct to say, taking all the factors into account, and taking into account the other changes which are being made in the workmen's compensation code, almost everyone of which is very definitely in favour of the worker, that the workmen's compensation code in this country is more progressive, more advanced, than that operating anywhere else. It is, I think, not something that we can take special pride in that we are in the forefront of social legislation of this kind, because I hope we shall always be so. I am satisfied that we are not inflicting any injustice upon anybody in effecting the change proposed in the Bill. Taking into account that the reduction in the maximum is much less than the actual reduction in the cost of living over the period since the maximum was fixed in 1917, and offset by the fact that the percentage of payment has been increased from 50 to 75, I think that the Bill can be fully justified in every way.

The fact that the operation of the Bill is likely to involve additional payment upon employers has already been generally recognised, and those employers who insure against their liabilities under this Bill have also taken that into account. It may be that an attempt may be made to justify an increase in the insurance premium on that account. I am not satisfied that there is justification for such an increase. I mean that the existing charges are not unduly low, having regard to the risk that arises here. We propose to take that matter up with the insurance companies doing this business when the Bill is law. We must, however, take into account that very frequently the operation of this law has for small employers almost a disastrous effect. Cases have been known where a small employer, whose workman has been injured, has been completely ruined through the compensation he had to pay. Deputies, I am certain, have experience themselves of that. Of course, the rate of compensation fixed by this Bill is applicable in every case. One must not always have in mind the big industrial concerns with large resources and with a large number of people employed. One must take into account the individual who employs a man for a job or even the householder who employs a casual worker to clean windows or clean up his garden. In each case there is a definite liability imposed under this Bill and the compensation payable is the same in all cases. We must, therefore, not seek to move too fast in matters of this kind and I submit that in this legislation we are moving to the front of the world in this type of legislation and that we should be content to keep in that position without going too far ahead.

I said there is no injustice because the new rate of compensation calculated on the new basis applies only in cases of accidents which occur after the Bill becomes law. Any workman who has been injured prior to the passage of the Act and who gets compensation at the maximum rate provided for under the existing law will continue to get compensation at that maximum rate. The Bill definitely provides that no reduction in the payments now being made to anybody can result from its passage. The new rate applies only to new cases and, having regard to the different circumstances existing now from those that existed when the rate was fixed; having regard to the new method of calculation, which is more favourable to the worker, and having regard to the fact that the compensation is in any case higher than appears to be made in any country and, particularly, in the neighbouring country of Great Britain, I think we can justify the provision in the Bill.

The Minister is relying completely on what Britain does as his justification for this Bill. That is an extraordinary philosophy for the Minister. He states that he is paying more under this Bill than Britain is paying under its Workmen's Compensation Act. The Minister is, however, reducing the rates of compensation which exist to-day. To-day, a person can get seven-eighths of his weekly pay, subject to a maximum of 35/- per week, if he meets with an accident. The Minister says he is going to pay 75 per cent. That means that he is not only reducing the proportion from seven-eighths to 75 per cent. but he is reducing the maximum from 35/- to 30/-. The Minister may say that he is paying more than is paid in Great Britain to-day but he is reducing the rate of compensation that is payable here to-day. That is not justified by the statement that the Minister is doing something better than Great Britain, or as good as Britain, is doing. The Minister read out a number of cases of legislation in other countries and seemed to get some satisfaction from what he read. He should have told the House what the compensation is in Australia under current legislation. He should have told us what the maximum is in New Zealand. He might have got a copy of the Workmen's Compensation Act which is in operation in the State of Ontario. These do not make nearly as good a comparison as the quotations which he gave regarding Czecho-Slovakia or some portion of Poland. If this Bill had been passed in 1927, as was intended, this 35/- a week compensation would have been continued and would be law to-day. Advantage should not be taken of the delay in introducing the Bill.

The Minister quoted the case of a small employer who was ruined because he had to pay compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act. I do not know what his purpose was in quoting that case. If there were provision in our legislation for compulsory insurance, he would not be ruined. Anybody who has any experience of workmen's compensation knows perfectly well that, while the insurance rates may be higher than they ought to be, they are not so serious as to cripple anybody. If the man the Minister refers to took the precaution of insuring his workman against accident, as a provident employer would do and as an employer who had any regard for his workman and his dependents would do, he would not have been overtaken by the ruin which engulfed him. The Minister states that he has a suspicion that the compensation provisions of the Bill will increase premiums. The Committee which reported on the matter did not think that at all. The Committee reported in 1925. In 1929, the matter was referred back to them by Deputy McGilligan, who was then Minister for Industry and Commerce. On the 16th October, 1929, the Committee reported again. This is portion of their report:

"We had reason to believe, at the time, that the changes we recommended would not, of themselves, necessitate any increase in premiums so far as could be foreseen. Statistics now before us furnish some additional confirmation of the view we took in 1926 of the probable effect of the changes we recommended. Thus, the table on page 15 of the statistical return for 1927 shows that our proposed alteration in the waiting period may be expected to have the effect of shortening the period for which compensation is available."

The Report goes on to refer to the tendency in Britain to shorten the duration of absences from work by extension of the waiting period. The Report proceeds:—

"The same effects may be anticipated in the Saorstát and, of course, the shortening of the duration of cases means a reduction of the average amount of compensation paid."

The Committee were not only satisfied with what they recommended in 1926 but, on reconsideration of the matter in 1929, when apparently an effort was made to stampede them from their original report, they were satisfied that the changes in the law which they recommended would not necessitate any increase in premiums. They stated that they were reinforced in that view by the statistical return for 1927, which was then made available to them. I do not think that any extra premiums which may become payable will be very serious. The way to deal with that problem is not to reduce the compensation payable to the workman, but to devise ways and means of meeting any attempt by foreign companies to charge premiums in respect of workmen's compensation which are not justified by the risks involved.

Amendment put and negatived.

I move amendment 35:—

In page 38, to delete the whole table of the Fourth Schedule and substitute a new table as follows:—

Age last Birthday of Proposed Annuitant

Price of Annuity of £1

Males

Females

£

s.

d.

£

s.

d.

21 years

24

0

11

25

0

9

22 ,,

23

17

0

24

17

0

23 ,,

23

13

0

24

13

2

24 ,,

23

8

11

24

9

3

25 ,,

23

4

10

24

5

3

26 ,,

23

0

7

24

1

3

27 ,,

22

16

3

23

17

2

28 ,,

22

11

9

23

13

0

29 ,,

22

7

3

23

8

9

30 ,,

22

2

7

23

4

6

31 ,,

21

17

10

23

0

2

32 ,,

21

13

0

22

15

9

33 ,,

21

8

0

22

11

3

34 ,,

21

2

11

22

6

8

35 ,,

20

17

9

22

2

0

36 ,,

20

12

5

21

17

3

37 ,,

20

6

11

21

12

6

38 ,,

20

1

4

21

7

6

39 ,,

19

15

7

21

2

6

40 ,,

19

9

9

20

17

5

41 ,,

19

3

9

20

12

2

42 ,,

18

17

7

20

6

10

43 ,,

18

11

4

20

1

5

44 ,,

18

5

0

19

15

9

45 ,,

17

18

5

19

10

0

46 ,,

17

11

8

19

4

2

47 ,,

17

4

10

18

18

1

48 ,,

16

17

10

18

11

11

49 ,,

16

10

7

18

5

7

This is a more up-to-date table than the table in the Bill, which is taken from the superannuation statute of 1856. This table has been prepared by the British Post Office. The Post Office here does not do this class of business and, consequently, they have no tables. The improved expectation of life has necessitated an alteration in the table, and I think it is fairer that the more up-to-date table should be utilised.

The Minister has told us that this table has been taken from the British Post Office. I understand that their tables are based on the ruling price of Consols. What is the Minister basing this table on?

We have actually taken the British tables. The fact that we have no security corresponding with British Consols would make it difficult to prepare a corresponding table of our own. There are possibly some slight inaccuracies in it, but they do not make much difference because the amount, in any event, is arbitrary. The amount which a workman gets is either awarded by a judge or arbitrarily fixed by the Bill. Any slight inaccuracy in the annuity tables does not matter very much.

Amendment put and agreed to.
The following amendments were agreed to:—
36. In page 39, Fifth Schedule, paragraph 4 (1), lines 42 and 45, to delete the word "children" and substitute the words "juvenile dependants", and in line 47, to delete the word "child" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant".
37. In page 39, Fifth Schedule, paragraph 4 (2), lines 49 and 56, to delete the word "child" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant"; in line 51, to delete the word "children" and substitute the words "juvenile dependants"; and in line 54 to delete the words "such child" and substitute the words "each such juvenile dependant".
38. In page 39, Fifth Schedule, paragraph 5 (1), lines 59 and 60, to delete the word "child" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant"; and in page 40, paragraph 5 (1), lines 1 and 3, to delete the word "child" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant"; and in paragraph 5 (2), line 5, to delete the word "child" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant".
39. In page 40, Fifth Schedule, paragraph 6, lines 10, 13, 18, 27 and 31, to delete the word "child" and substitute in each line the words "juvenile dependant".
40. In page 40, Fifth Schedule, paragraph 7, line 32, to delete the word "child" and substitute the words "juvenile dependant".
41. In page 40, Fifth Schedule, paragraph 11, to delete lines 50, 51, and 52 and substitute the words "Posts and Telegraphs by a judge of the Circuit Court or such county registrar".
Bill, as amended, reported.
Question —"That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration"— agreed to.
Question —"That the Bill do now pass"— agreed to.
Message to be sent to the Seanad accordingly.