HC Deb 15 June 1898 vol 59 cc361-82

House went into Committee on this Bill.

On clause 1 (Abolition of Defence of Common Employment),

SIR A. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

Mr. Lowther, when this Bill was before the Committee on Second Reading I gave an assurance that I would on the Committee stage propose Amendments which would limit the abolition of common employment to those cases not covered by the Compensation to Workmen Act of last year, and previous Employers' Liability Acts. In accordance with that pledge, Mr. Lowther, I have move— Page 1, line 6, leave out 'under the Employers' Liability Act, 1880,' and insert 'by a workman.'

MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)

I should like to ask what the precise effect of the Amendment will be. I notice there are other Amendments on the Paper dealing with the question of the omission of these words, and the insertion of the words "by a workman." This naturally leads us to consider what the definition of "workman" is to be. I should like to know whether it will exclude seamen and domestic servants.


The word is defined in a subsequent Amendment.


The mover of the Amendment stated that the object of the Amendment was to limit the operation of the Bill. It appears to me that if you leave out the words "under the Employers' Liability Act, 1880," and substitute "by a workman" the effect will be to extend the operation of the Bill and not to limit it.


By a later Amendment I define a "workman" strictly to the interpretation given in the Act of 1875, governed by the Act of 1880, excluding all those workmen whose cases are dealt with by the Compensation Act of 1897.

MR. CRIPPS (Stroud)

Mr. Lowther, I should like to ask the right honourable Gentleman in charge of this Bill what he means by this Amendment. The Employers' Liability Act of 1880 comprises under the definition of "workman," "workman under the Act of 1875"; and therefore, as I understand, what the right honourable Gentleman proposes is merely an alteration in words which makes no alteration in substance at all. If that is so, the objection to the alteration in a sound one. It was pointed out, during the Second Reading of this Bill, that if there was to be an abolition of the doctrine of common employment at all, it ought to be made in a general form. There is no reason why sailors and domestic servants should be excluded. I will not say that this Amendment was introduced for the purpose of "blinding" the Committee, but it is an Amendment without any meaning whatever. I hope the right honourable Gentleman will explain why it is he proposes to take out a limitation here for the mere purpose of inserting the very same limitation, practically in the very same terms, in a subsequent part of the Bill.

MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

What has been said by my honourable and learned Friend who has just sat down I think clearly shows that this Bill, as it stands, is unworkable; I was going to say absolutely nonsense. No court of law could possibly give it interpretation, for it has no definition for "workman." What I want to point out now is this, that at this moment these words, "under the Employers' Liability Act, 1880," could have no application at all.

The Amendment was negatived.

Amendment proposed— Page 1, line 6, after the first 'Act' insert 'by a workman.'"—(Sir A. Forwood.)

Amendment carried.

Amendment proposed— Page 1, line 7, before 'injury' insert 'personal.'"—(Sir A. Forwood.)

Sir. A. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

I beg to have these words inserted in the Bill in order to follow closely the lines of other Bills dealing with employers' liability and the Bill of last year.

Amendment carried.

Amendment proposed— Page 1, line 7, leave out from 'shall' to 'be,' in line 8."—(Mr. Renshaw.)

MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)

My right honourable Friend the Home Secretary has expressed some doubt as to what these words in the clause conveved. I do think it very desirable that this Bill should be made perfectly clear, and that we should not have confusion worse confounded. I make this proposal solely to render the clause absolutely intelligible.


I hope the Committee will retain these words. My object is to prevent contracting out. I propose to add words after the word "contrary," to make it in consonance with the Bill of last year, so that, after an injury has occurred to a workman, that workman may claim and receive compensation for his injury. If in the course of employment one of the conditions is that the employer may contract out you deprive the workman of benefits which it is intended that he shall receive.

MR. CRIPPS (Gloucester, Stroud)

The right honourable Gentleman in charge of this Bill has given an interpretation to these words which I think is certainly the right one, but because of that interpreta- tion I am strongly opposed to them. Taking the interpretation he has given, he is really raising the whole question of contracting out upon this Bill. I admit the Employers' Liability Act is now taken out of this Act, but I understand similar provisions are likely to be introduced later on. So far as that Act is concerned, you are contracting out of it; so far as that Act is concerned, if in an engagement between an employer and a workman the workman likes to make terms which her may consider more favourable to himself, he is entitled to do so. I want to know why, in this Act, affecting, as I understand, the doctrine of common employment, if a man can get better terms, he should not be entitled to do so. I am aware this question of contracting out has been constantly discussed in this House, before I became a Member of this House, and also last Session, but I am one of those who believe in leaving to workmen and employer as much liberty as possible, and, if you are to leave them as much liberty as possible in order that, like other men, they may incur mutual obligations in regard to these matters one with another, you certainly ought not to abolish contracting out. To my mind this is an exceedingly important matter. It is raising again the question raised last year. Are you to deprive workmen of the opportunity of making the best bargain they can on a matter of this kind? And, on the other hand, are you to debar an employer from entering into those relationships which are exceedingly important, not only as regards liability between the parties, but in order to promote good feeling and to get rid of friction? Why, in a matter of this kind, if the employer on the one side and the workman on the other like to make an arrangement under which compensation is given without any risk of litigation, without any risk of trouble, without any risk of expenses between the parties, why should it not be done? It can be done, and it is done, in a large number of cases, with great advantages to both sides, because, although at the present time employers are not liable in certain cases under the doctrine of common employment, yet in a large number of cases they have entered into arrangements with their workmen which make them liable in these cases for injuries arising from whatever cause. Whether the injury be due to an act of folly on the part of the workman or not, the workman is compensated by his employer upon agreed terms. That is done in a very large number of cases, and it brings about the best possible relationship between the parties, and I should like to encourage a relationship of that kind in every possible way. What particular reason is there in this Bill for abolishing the principle of contracting out? There is nothing very special in this Bill; it deals really with a very important part of the question, but with only one part, and where in other connections you permit contracting out on certain terms, why in this particular case, and under these particular circumstances, should you abolish the doctrine of contracting out altogether? I hold, Sir, to this ground because no reason whatever has been given for abolishing contracting out in this particular case. I hope my honourable Friend will go to a Division, and if he does I shall certainly support him.

SIR R. REID (Dumfries Burghs)

There is no doubt about the importance of this Amendment, because if the Amendment were carried, then the effect would be that, although the Act abolishes the doctrine of common employment, it would enable any employer to insist that the contract between himself and his workman should relieve him of liability. Now I think, although there have been many discussions in Parliament during the last four or five years, that it was practically agreed by all parties that to leave absolutely free power of contracting out was an inadvisable thing. Well, Sir, it is quite true that it was contemplated in some cases to contract out, but those cases were restricted, and there is machinery in the Bill by which, unless equivalent benefits are given by the employer, he cannot deprive workmen of the benefits intended for them. My honourable and learned Friend the Member for Stroud [Mr. Cripps] and the honourable Member for Renfrew [Mr. Renshaw] proposed that this Bill should be absolutely at the mercy of the contract that may be imposed by the employer on the workman; in other words, that the protection which in the legisla- tion of last year was considered to be necesary for the purpose of that Act should absolutely disappear for the purposes of this Act. Now that is purely and simply depriving the workman of any sort of protection, and I cannot help thinking that the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Liverpool would wish a more just interpretation of the wishes and opinions of the Conservatives in this matter than the honourable and learned Member for Stroud and the honourable Member for Renfrew have given them. At all events, it is not for me to interpret between those two honourable Gentlemen as to what the feelings are on that side, but I cannot help thinking there are very few on this side of the House who would agree to this destructive course.

MR. W. E. M. TOMLINSON (Preston)

There seems to be an impression that contracting out of the employer's liability is an act done generally by the employer as against the workman. The fact is that the opposite is the case. Contracting out is often done on the suggestion of the workmen. I have known several instances within my personal experience where workmen have urged and urged upon their employers some scheme by which an arrangement should be substituted for the statutory obligation. And here you are going to say that the law is still to remain, as regards most subjects which come within employers' liability, but this one particular thing, this matter relating to common employment, is to he taken out of the Rule. However much a workman may desire it, he is not to be allowed to conclude any substitute arrangement. It seems to me absurd on the face of it. If we are to abolish the power of making any contract in substitution of liability under this Act, let it be done once for all. If not, if we do not give that power, on what principle are we to except this particular thing—the question of common employment—out of its scope?

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)

I think the appeal made by the honourable and learned Member for Stroud is a mere repetition of his position on the Bill of last year. Sometimes he wishes us to believe that he is really in favour of a fair measure of compensation towards the workman, and the moment we get one he gets up and supports Amendments which are fatal to the Bill. And now he is here again, with that seductive manner of his, trying to lead astray the innocent lambs on his own side of the House, who are not.so fully advised of his intentions as some of us are on this side. This is an attack at the very heart and principle of the Bill, and therefore I hope the Committee will refuse to be advised in the direction indicated by the Amendment.

* COLONEL MILWARD (Warwick, Stratfard-on-Avon)

I am one of the lambs alluded to by the honourable Member opposite. It seems to me sufficient to point out the enormous disadvantages of leaving a great question like this to a late hour on a Wednesday afternoon for discussion on a Bill which was not expected to be reached. I had thought that the legislation of last year would have settled, at all events for a few years, the question of workmen's compensation. I understood that certain classes were included in last year's Bill, and certain classes were left outside, and that for those classes left outside the law would be settled after we had had an opportunity of seeing the effect of the passage of that Measure. Now that we have this Bill sprung upon us, I should like to ask my right honourable Friend the Member far Liverpool what would be the position of the agricultural labourer. That question alone shows how great a change is involved. I do not think we should decide the great question of common employment, as regards the immense class of agricultural labourers and marines, by a few words said late on a Wednesday afternoon.


As this Bill, as I understand, applies to Ireland, I feel bound to express a hope that the right honourable Gentleman [Sir A. Forwood] will press his Amendment to a Division. I think it is quite time now—though it is only a Wednesday afternoon—to get rid of the whole doctrine of common employment, and, in order to do that effectually, we should not give power to contract out of it, because workmen and employers are not meeting on equal terms. A workman anxious to get, employment, perhaps under the pressure of hunger or want, will enter into a contract just as of old the Irish tenant was ready to submit to any arrangement for the purpose of getting land. If you allow this principle of contracting out to creep in, you might as well drop the Bill altogether. The whole doctrine of common employment, has been always of late considered by judges, at least in my country, as rather the result of a very ingenious decision by, I think, the late Lord Abinger. It was a doctrine unknown originally to the law as expounded by common law judges in times of old. It is not based upon any Statute. It has not even any great antiquity. It sprang up some fifty or sixty years ago, and before that time such a. doctrine was never dreamt of. It is quite time now to get rid of it altogether; but in order to get rid of it altogether and effectually you must also take care, just as you did in the Act of last year, that the workman cannot be induced, by the employer laying a contract before, him which he must enter into, to forego the right enjoyed under what I believe to have been the original common law of England, and, at all events, what appears to me to be more consistent with natural justice—namely, the right that if he has been injured in the employment of another he should have the same claim to compensation whether that injury was immediately brought about by the act of a fellow servant or not. This is an absurd and refined distinction. If there were no fellow servant in the case he clearly, according to the law, would have an action for damages and compensation against his employer, and that the fact of a fellow servant, more than any other person in the community, being more or less ancillary should be a ground for depriving him of that right seems, as far as I can form a judgment, to be wholly inconsistent. I cannot appreciate the argument of the honourable and gallant Member who last spoke, that because this is a Wednesday afternoon, this principle should be rejected by the House. I believe some of the most important Measures on the Statute Book have been passed on a Wednesday after- noon, and some of the most important principles have been established in Bills brought forward by private Members, and it is only on a Wednesday afternoon that a Bill can be brought forward by a private Member, and principles which a Government may not care to adopt can be made effectual.


I consider the subject of contracting out must be dealt with us a whole, but I think the Committee is in extraordinary difficulty in dealing with this clause, owing to the very remarkable manner in which this Bill has been drawn. I agree as to the difficulties of this Bill. Will the Committee let me point out what the consequences would be of the words as they stand? At present a master is liable to pay compensation to his servant in a variety of cases—bad plant, negligence, cases which come under the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, and so forth. In all these cases the master may contract out of his liability. He may agree with the workman on taking employment that the workman shall have no cause against him. I am not now speaking of the Act under which, subject to certain provisions, contracting out is permitted on fair terms; I can only point out that in all those cases in which at present by common law a workman has a right against his master for injury incurred in his employment contracting out is not permitted. Well, this Bill is not produced for the purpose of enabling the workman to sue his master in cases in which at present he could not sue him, and you propose to restrict contracting out only in this one case. I would appeal to the Committee whether any result more grotesque could be imagined. You leave the common law in existence as to the right of contracting out, and you forbid contracting out only in one case, in a very tortuous, involved way. I think the whole subject has not been grasped by those involved in the construction of this Bill, and the Committee must be very cautious in seeing that it does not indulge in words like those, which would lead to preposterous results such as I have described.

MR. BUXTON (Tower Hamelts, Poplar)

The honourable and gallant Member for Warwick said he should vote against this Amendment because we were discussing it on a Wednesday afternoon. I cannot think that is an adequate reason. When last Session the Government passed an Act which gave protection to certain sections of the working classes and deliberately omitted a very large number of other industries they expressed themselves in favour of the abolition of the doctrine of common employment. When we were discussing that Bill the Home Secretary, then present, also declared that in his opinion common employment ought to be abolished. Last year the Government expressed themselves in favour of the abolition of the doctrine of common employment, and the logical consequence would have been for them to introduce a Bill to that effect. They have not done so, but we have to be thankful for small mercies, and we are content to accept the Bill as far as it goes. But if the Government accept this Amendment, the Bill will be worthless.

* MR. C. MCARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

I have always thought that the doctrine of common employment was unsound. It is a mere legal fiction that ought to be abolished as soon as opportunity offers. I also agree that, if common employment is to be abolished, it ought not to be done by practically nullifying any clause which enables the employer to bring undue pressure to bear upon workmen with a view to contracting out. At the same time I think there ought to be some reserve for cases of better treatment being offered to a workman by contracting out than he would be able to obtain if there were no contracting out and only dry legal rights. I think an opportunity is required for a more careful consideration of this aspect of the question. My own feeling is that it is a great mistake to meddle or interfere with employers' liability so soon after the great Compensation Act of last Session, which has not yet come into force, and when, therefore, there has been no opportunity to see the effect of its provisions. I agree with the principle of this Bill, and in time I hope to see that principle applied with discretion; but in the meantime I shall vote in favour of the Amendment, in order that an opportunity may be given for a more careful consideration of the question before it is finally dealt with.

MR. HOLBORN (Lanark, N.W.)

I hope the Committee will be prepared to accept this clause. I agree that the Committee should do nothing to disturb the good feeling between employer and employed, but I would point out that contracting out only takes place where proceedings have actually been taken. Under this Bill no proceedings will be taken, because the workman will not go to law, where he gets better terms than under the Bill. I regret that this question of contracting out has been made a Party one, because the workman has been made the sufferer. I hope the Committee will take this opportunity of removing what we feel to be an injustice in all cases where personal injury is put before the Court.

* MR. LOYD (Berks, Abingdon)

I am unable to agree with those who think that the passing of the Workmen's Compensation Act last year is any argument against this Bill. The whole House was agreed, as long ago as 1893, that the time had arrived for the abolition of the defence of common employment. Last year it was found possible to introduce and pass through both Houses a very special Bill dealing with the dangerous trades. With regard to those dangerous trades, where the risk of injury was a part of the risk of the undertaking, very stringent but very beneficial provisions were passed for putting an end to disputes and ensuring reasonable compensation; but that left the non-dangerous trades as they were before, and the workmen in those trades are entitled, in my opinion, to call upon Parliament at the earliest opportunity to give them what it was willing to give them in 1893—namely, a release from the defence of common employment. But now I come to the words against which this Amendment is directed, and I must say I regret that they were introduced into the Bill at all. If I thought that under the clause, as it would stand without them, there would be any chance of a general tendency on the part of employers throughout the country in the non-dangerous trades to bargain with their workmen to remain subject to the defence of common employment, I should possibly vote against this Amendment, or, at least, prefer some other Amendment limiting, without prohibiting, contracts in this respect. But I believe that no such inclination would exist. On the other hand, the words against which the Amendment is directed go too far, for they would prohibit and nullify those contracts which are beneficial to the workman, and in which, for greater advantages, he foregoes any such limited benefit as he would get under this Bill. Those beneficial contracts are the only contracts which I believe would ever have been made so as in any way to interfere with the advantage obtained under this Bill. I shall, therefore, feel obliged to vote for this Amendment because the words forbidding contracting out seem to aim at an evil which, would never exist, and, on the other hand, to deprive the workmen of those beneficial contracts to which they are entitled. It might be advisable, on striking out these objectionable words, to provide later in the Bill certain conditions to which any contract should conform before it should be allowed to supersede the rights given to the workman under the common employment defence abolition clause.

MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

I have been obliged to make many speeches on this subject, both inside and outside the House, and I only rise now for the purpose of making one observation. I welcome this Bill, in so far as it abolishes, throughout the whole range of our industrial system, the defence of common employment. But I should not regard it as carrying out the object which it professes to carry out, if it is left to private arrangement between employers and workmen to get rid of the protection which the Measure gives as it stands. I am certain I am speaking for everybody on this side of the House, and, I hope, for a considerable number of Members on the other side, when I say it is perfectly useless to offer this pretended boon to the workmen of this country unless we safeguard against it being whittled away by an arrangement of this kind.

SIR F. S. POWELL (Wigan)

I think that honourable Members on the other side of the House who have spoken against the Amendment did not do sufficient justice to the energy, independence, and determination of the working people of this country. I represent a manufacturing district, and I am sure that there is a large number of my constituents who are anxious that the privilege of contracting out should be maintained. Surely, it is the privilege of the working people to make a better bargain than the law gives them. We have reason to object to the Bill because of its drafting; indeed, to bring forward, at this time of the Session, and at this hour on a Wednesday afternoon, a Bill which is badly drawn, is not a compliment to the House of Commons.

MR. ASCROFT (Oldham)

I am strongly in favour of the Bill, and I hope the Amendment will not go to a Division. If we could dispense with the doctrine of common employment, and simply pass a Bill of one clause, we shall do a good deal to put thousands of working people, excluded from the last Act, on a better footing in respect to any injury they may receive.

MR. WOODS (Essex, Walthamstow)

I happen to be in a position to know the views and opinions of the working classes of the country, both on the question of the abolition of common employment and upon the question of the benefit to be derived from contracting out, and I think I shall not be overstating the case when I say that, for the last 18 years, the working classes of this country have been deluging the House with petitions against the power of the employer to force workmen to contract out of the benefits of the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, which has been such a blot upon the legislation of the House. Working men, almost without exception, object to an Act of Parliament which gives the right to the employer to take any steps, or adopt any stratagem, which will compel his workmen to contract out of the Act of Parliament. For my own part, I am unable to see the consistency of passing an Act of Parliament with one hand, and giving the right to contract out with another. I am sure no honourable Member of this House would tolerate an Amendment to the Public Health Act, or to the Vaccination Act, upon which the health of the people depends, enabling persons to contract out; and when we are considering questions of the life and health of the people, I think it is the duty of the Committee to suggest that the right to contract out ought to continue no longer. I hope my honourable Friend who has charge of this Amendment will not give way to the arguments of those who favour contracting out. I am persuaded that millions of working men will welcome this Bill, which, if passed into law, will remove from the legislation of this House a blot which ought never to have been tolerated.

* MR. J. W. WILSON (Worcestershire, N.)

I trust the right honourable Member in charge of this Bill will stick to it as it stands. It simply abolishes the plea of common employment as a line of defence when a case comes into court, but will not materially affect contracting out, as when a workman has contracted out—i.e.,made a better bargain—he will not bring his claim into court at all.


If the words proposed to be omitted are left in the Bill the workman will still be at liberty to contract with his master, in respect to all matters, except those which arise out of common employment. That will be a most illogical position. I may also say once more that, having on many occasions, taken part in discussions such as this, and having sat on a Committee which considered the question, I maintain that, so far from workmen being universally opposed to contracting out, they have given evidence in favour of the principle, and Select Committees have reported unanimously in favour of the principle.

SIR A. B. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

I only wish to point out that the people who are the least organised, and the poorest, and the least able to take care of themselves in the whole industrial world, were excluded from the benefits of the Act of last year. Unless the Committee see their way to accept the words as they stand, I shall take no further responsibility with the Bill.

After some remarks from Colonel BLUNDELL (Lancashire, Ince), and Mr. CRIPPS (Gloucester, Stroud)—

The Committee divided:—Ayes 134; Noes 104—(Division List No. 137.)

Allan, Wm. (Gateshead) Gretton, John Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.) Gull, Sir Cameron Norton, Capt. Cecil Wm.
Allison, Robert Andrew Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert H. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)
Austin, Sir J.(Yorkshire) Harwood, George Oldroyd, Mark
Austin, M.(Limerick, W.) Hayne, Rt. Hn. Chas. Seale- Owen, Thomas
Bayley, Thos.(Derbyshire) Healy, Maurice (Cork) Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)
Billson, Alfred Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)
Birrell, Augustine Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H. Pease, Jos. A. (Northumb.)
Brigg, John Holburn, J. G. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Brunner, Sir John T. Holden, Sir. Angus Price, Robert John
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Horniman, Frederick John Reid, Sir Robert T.
Burns, John Humphreys-Owen, A. C. Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)
Burt, Thomas Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Rickett, J. Compton
Buxton, Sydney Charles Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)
Caldwell, James Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E. Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow) Johnston, Wm. (Belfast) Royds. Clement Molyneux
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Jones, David B. (Swansea) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Schwann, Charles E.
Carlile, William Walter Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Cawley, Frederick King, Sir Henry Seymour Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness) Kinloch, Sir John George S. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Clough, Walter Owen Kitson, Sir James Spicer, Albert
Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow) Labouchere, Henry Stevenson, Francis S.
Cozens-Hardy, H. Hardy Lambert, George Strachey, Edward
Crilly, Daniel Langley, Batty Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Crombie, John William Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Tennant, Harold John
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Leng, Sir John Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Llewelyn, Sir D. (Swansea) Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Davies, M. V. (Cardigan) Logan, John William Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Doogan, P. C. Lough, Thomas Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Drage, Geoffrey Lucas-Shadwell, William Warr, Augustus Frederick
Dunn, Sir William Macaleese, Daniel Wayman, Thomas
Evershed, Sydney MacNeill, John Gordon S. Wedderburn, Sir William
Farquharson, Dr. Robert McArthur, Wm. (Cornwall) Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)
Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith) McEwan, William Willox, Sir John A.
Ffrench, Peter McKenna, Reginald Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond McLaren. Charles Benjamin Wilson, John (Govan)
Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) Marks, Harry H. Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh, N.)
Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (Wol'tn) Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Woods, Samuel
Gilliat, John Saunders Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks) Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Gold, Charles Monk, Charles James
Gordon, Hon. John E. Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir Arthur Forwood and Mr. Ascroft.
Gourley, Sir Edward T. Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)
Graham, Henry Robert Morrell, George Herbert
Allsopp, Hon. George Banbury, Frederick George Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.
Anstruther, H. T. Banes, Major George Edward Biddulph, Michael
Arnold, Alfred Barnes, Frederic Gorell Bill, Charles
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Barry, Rt Hn A H Smith-(Hunts) Blundell, Colonel Henry
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. S. Barton, Dunbar Plunket Brookfield, A. Montagu
Baird, John George Alex. Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l) Burdett-Coutts, W.
Baldwin, Alfred Beach, W. W. B. (Hants) Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds) Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)
Charrington, Spencer Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.
Coddington, Sir William Kennaway, Rt Hn. Sir J. H. Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Kimber, Henry Saunderson, Col. E. James
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Knowles, Lees Seely, Charles Hilton
Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Laurie, Lieut.-General Seton-Karr, Henry
Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. E. H. Shaw-Stewart. M. H. (Renfrew)
Cripps, Charles Alfred Loder, Gerald Walter E. Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip H. Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverp'l) Spencer, Ernest
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stanley, Ed. J. (Somerset)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Firbank, Joseph Thomas MeKillop, James Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Fisher, William Hayes Malcolm, Ian Thornton, Percy M.
FitzGerald. Sir R. Penrcse- Martin, Richard Biddulph Tomlinson, W. E. Murray
Fletcher, Sir Henry Milward, Colonel Victor Tritton. Charles Ernest
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.) Walrond, Sir William Hood
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Warkworth, Lord
Garfit, William Myers, William Henry Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
Gibbons, J. Lloyd Nicholson, William Graham Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)
Goldsworthy, Major-General Nicol, Donald Ninian Wharton, Rt. Hon. John L.
Gunter, Colonel Northcote, Hon. Sir H S Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hardy, Laurence O'Neill, Hon. Robert T. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hickman, Sir Alfred Parkes, Ebenezer Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)
Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead) Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Howard, Joseph Powell, Sir Francis Sharp TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Renshaw and Colonel Lockwood.
Howell, William Tudor Pryce-Jones, Edward
Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry C. Purvis, Robert

moved— Page 1, line 9, after 'contrary' insert 'made before the accrual of the right.'

Amendment agreed to, and the clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.


moved— Page 1, line 13, leave out from 'applies' to end of clause. He said he moved this in accordance with the engagement he made on the Second Reading of the Bill. The discussion on the occasion of the Second Reading applied almost entirely to the latter part of the clause, which he now proposed to omit. He did not wish to interfere with the action of Parliament last year in passing the Workmen's Compensation Act; he only wished to deal with those workmen who were left out of the Act last Session. He submitted that he was keeping strictly within the pledge he gave to the House on the occasion of the Second Reading of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.


moved— Page 1, after clause 1, insert the following clause— Where the injury was caused by the act or default of another workman in the service of the same employer, the amount of compensation recoverable shall not exceed such sum as may be found to be equivalent to the estimated earnings during the three years preceding the injury of a person in the same grade employed during those years in the like employment and in the district in which the workman is employed at the time of the injury. He said he felt in regard to this matter that it was the only possible way of giving the employers an opportunity of knowing the extreme liability which they incurred. He had adopted in the clause the conditions of the Act of 1890, limiting the amount of compensation to three years' wages. Thus the employer was well able to protect himself in consequence of such an Act by insurance.

Clause read a second time and added to the Bill.


also moved— Page 1, after clause 2, insert the following clause— In this Act the expression 'employer' includes a body of persons corporate or incorporate. The expression 'workman' means a railway servant and any person to whom the Employers and Workmen Act, 1875, applies. In moving that clause, he said he had strictly carried out the engagement he gave to the House that he would not attempt to extend the scope of the Act of 1880. On that condition he understood the House would accept the clause. Although he should have very much wished to extend the scope of that Act, he stood by the condition imposed upon him.


protested against the limitations in the clause. It excluded all seamen, and he should like to know why such an important section of the community was excluded. Seamen were quite as much entitled to the benefit of the Act as any other class of workmen, or any industry in any part of the country. He wanted to know why the right honourable Gentleman who represented Liverpool should have suggested such an Amendment, which excluded a class of workmen who were particularly prominent near Liverpool, and who certainly ought to be included. The mover of the Amendment protested against excluding certain workmen from the benefit of the Act, and he [Mr. Cripps] wanted to know why it was that he now sought to exclude seamen from the benefit of the abolition of common employment, which was of very great importance. So, too, with regard to domestic servants. It was difficult for a moment to know what this meant. He thought he was right in asking whether this limitation did not exclude the whole class of domestic servants. Some explanation ought to be given to the House as to why a particular class should be excluded. He wanted

to know whether any other class of workmen would be excluded besides the two classes he had mentioned.


said he explained on the Second Reading of the Bill his attitude as regarded the treatment of those classes excluded from the Bill. His wish was to pass a Bill which would give as great a benefit as possible to the largest number, but, from the practical point of view, he felt that no Bill could be carried which was strongly opposed by representatives of one class; and he also further explained that this interpretation clause embraced within it those whom he pledged to keep within the Bill.


said it must not be supposed that honourable Members on his side of the House had abandoned the principle that all classes of workmen ought to be included. They only acquiesced in the limitation proposed by the right honourable Baronet because they were unwilling to imperil the Measure.


said he had argued throughout that if the Bill were passed there ought to be no limitation. Holding that opinion, as he strongly did, he certainly thought there ought to be a Division.

The House divided:—Ayes 47; Noes 184.—(Division List No. 138.)

Allan, Wm. (Gateshead) Graham, Henry Robert Nicol, Donald Ninian
Anstruther, H. T. Gretton, John Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Arnold, Alfred Hozier, Hon. Jas. H. Cecil Oldroyd, Mark
Banes, Major George E. Johnston, William (Belfast) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Lambert, George Pryce-Jones, Edward
Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe Laurie, Lieut.-General Royds, Clement Molyneux
Bill, Charles Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H. Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Birrell, Augustine Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a) Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Warr, Augustus Frederick
Cavendish. V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)
Cawley, Frederick Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l) Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
Charrington, Spencer McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool) Williams. John C. (Notts.)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Monk, Charles James
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir Arthur Forwood and Mr. Ascroft
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Morton. A. H. A. (Deptford)
Gordon, Hon. John Edward Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)
Gourley, Sir Edward T. Myers, William Henry
Allen, Wm. (Newc-under-L.) Gull, Sir Cameron Price, Robert John
Allison, Robert Andrew Gunter, Colonel Pryce-Jones, Edward
Allsopp, Hon. George Haldane, Richard Burdon Purvis, Robert
Atherley-Jones, L. Hardy. Laurence Quilter. Sir Cuthbert
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Harwood, George Reid, Sir Robert T.
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Healy, Maurice (Cork) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Baden-Powell, Sir G. Smyth Hedderwick, Thos. C. H. Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep' I)
Baird, John George Alexander Hemphill, Rt, Hon. C. H. Rickett, J. Compton
Baldwin, Alfred Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Roberts, J. H. (Denbighs.)
Barry, Rt Hn A H Smith-(Hunts) Holburn, J. G. Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire) Holden, Sir Angus Saunderson, Colonel E. Jas.
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants) Hornby, William Henry Schwann, Charles E.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Horniman, Frederick John Seely, Charles Hilton
Biddulph, Michael Howard, Joseph Seton-Karr, Henry
Billson, Alfred Howell, William Tudor Sharpe, William Edw. T.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Shaw, Thos. (Hawick B.)
Brigg, John Humphreys-Owen, A. C. Shaw-Stewart, M.H.(Renfrew)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Shee, James John
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Jacoby, James Alfred Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Johnson-Ferguson, J. E. Simeon, Sir Barrington
Burdett-Coutts, W. Jones, David B. (Swansea) Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)
Burns, John Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Kimber, Henry Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Caldwell, James King, Sir Henry Seymour Spencer, Ernest
Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow) Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth Spicer, Albert
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Kitson, Sir James Stanley, Ed. J. (Somerset)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Knowles, Lees Stevenson, Francis S.
Carlile, William Walter Labouchere, Henry Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs) Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Strachey, Edward
Clough, Walter Owen Leng, Sir John Strauss, Arthur
Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole Logan, John William Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cook, F. Lucas (Lambeth) Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)
Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow) Lough, Thomas Tennant, Harold John
Cozens-Hardy, Herbert Hardy Loyd, Archie Kirkman Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Cripps, Charles Alfred Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Crombie, John William Lucas-Shadwell. William Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Macaleese, Daniel Thornton, Percy M.
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Tomlinson, W. E. Murray
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh McArthur, Wm. (Cornwall) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Dalziel, James Henry McEwan, William Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) McKenna, Reginald Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Denny, Colonel McKillop, James Walrond, Sir William Hood
Doogan, P. C. McLaren, Charles Benjamin Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Dorington, Sir John Edward Malcolm, Ian Warkworth. Lord
Doughty, George Martin, Richard Biddulph Wayman, Thomas
Drage, Geoffrey Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)
Dunn, Sir William Milward, Colonel Victor Wedderburn, Sir William
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd
Ferguson. R. C. M. (Leith) Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen) Wills, Sir William Henry
Ffrench, Peter Morrell, George Herbert Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)
Firbank, Joseph Thomas Muntz, Philip A. Wilson, John (Govan)
Fisher, William Hayes Nicholson, William Graham Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh. N.)
FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose- Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Fletcher. Sir Henry O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Woods, Samuel
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Owen, Thomas Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)
Foster. Harry S. (Suffolk) Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Fry, Lewis Parkes, Ebenezer
Garfit, William Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland) TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Sir Alfred Hickman and Mr. Banbury.
Gibbons. J. Lloyd Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)
Gold, Charles Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Goldsworthy, Major-General Pickersgill, Edward Hare

Bill read a second time without a Division.