§ MR. GULLAND (Dumfries Burghs)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that throughout the country there are many workers subject to epileptic fits; that, under the Workmen's Compensation Act, the insurance companies will not undertake the risk of insuring them against accidents; that, contracting out not being allowed, they are in danger of losing their employment; and what steps, if any, he proposes to take to prevent this class from being deprived of the opportunity of earning a livelihood.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Gladstone,) Leeds, W.
I have no official information on the matters referred to in the Question. I believe, however, it is the fact that, quite apart from the Workmen's Compensation Act, epileptics have difficulty in finding employment. The new Act may aggravate that difficulty though such cases could have been provided for under an Amendment which I moved on the Report stage of the Bill last autumn, and which, after being left to the judgment of the House, was rejected. The matter is one which obviously cannot be considered with reference merely to the effects of the Act, and as my hon. friend will be aware, the whole question of the treatment of the feeble-minded, including epileptics, is under the consideration of a Royal Com- mission whose Report may be expected shortly.
§ MR. GULLAND
Is it not the case that already a good many epileptics have lost their employment in consequence of the passing of this Act, and cannot the right hon. Gentleman deal with their case in some way?
§ SIR J. RANDLES (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
Pending the Report of the Royal Commission cannot these discharges be suspended?