§ EARL DE LA WARR,
in presenting a Bill to amend the Law relating to the liability of Employers to make compensation for injuries sustained by persons in their service, said, that this measure, in principle and substance, was very much the same as the Bill which he introduced last year, and the stages of which last Session he postponed from time to time at the request of the noble and learned Earl on the Woolsack, in order to allow the Bill of the Government on the same subject to come up from the House of Commons. He regretted that he was not present yesterday when the noble and learned Earl made his statement. His Bill was based on the Report of the Royal Commission of 1877 on Railway Accidents and on the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons which sat in the same year. It consisted only of one clause, and its object was to make masters and employers, whether corporate bodies or not, liable for accidents which might occur to, and injury which might be sustained by, their servants in consequence of the neglect of persons to whom such masters and employers delegated their authority and supervision, and also to make them liable for defective machinery, plant, or anything connected with their works which might be a cause of injury to their servants. He would ask that his Bill should be allowed to go to a Second Reading, and then be referred to the same Select Committee as that to which the Bill introduced the previous night by the noble and learned Earl (the Lord Chancellor) was to be committed; but on the understanding that the whole Bill, and not merely a particular part of it, was to be sent to the Select Committee. He begged to move the first reading of the Bill.
§ Bill to amend the Law relating to the liability of Employers to make compensation for injuries sustained by persons in their service—presented(The Earl DE LA WARR.)377
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that last Session the noble Earl produced to their Lordships a Bill on this subject, which, he presumed, from what the noble Earl had just said, was almost identical with the one which he was now laying on the Table. He stated at that time that the Bill of his noble Friend was not in accordance with the Report of the Select Committee of 1877, but was framed on the lines of a Report which that Committee had refused to adopt. He further stated that, therefore, it was not possible for Her Majesty's Government to support the Bill of his noble Friend, though there was a difficulty in stating their own views until their Bill on the subject reached their Lordships' House. His noble Friend had been good enough to defer the consideration of his Bill in the expectation that the measure of the Government would reach their Lordships' House, but it did not come up. He hoped, therefore, that his noble Friend would see that it would be impossible for Her Majesty's Government to adopt his suggestion and refer the Bill they had now before their Lordships and his noble Friend's Bill to a Select Committee. A Bill was referred to a Select Committee in order that evidence might be taken and that the Committee might go through the measure clause by clause. Of course, the object of referring the two Bills to the same Committee would be, not that they should be gone through clause by clause, but that the Committee should decide which Bill should be adopted. That, however, was really a question not for a Committee but for the House. He hoped, however, that his noble Friend would consent to serve on the Select Committee to which the Bill of the Government was to be referred, and then he would have an opportunity of proposing any Amendments which he might think advisable. He trusted, further, that his noble Friend would not consider it discourteous if he said that the Government could not consent to refer his Bill to a Select Committee.
said, he was not convinced by the remarks of the noble and learned Earl on the Woolsack. He thought it very important that those whose opinions were represented by the noble Earl (Earl De La Warr) should 378 have their case heard by a Select Committee.
§ Motionagreed to;Bill read la; to beprinted;and to be read 2aonThursdaynext. (No. 5.)