§ [THIRD READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a." —(Lord Davey.)
§ On Question, Bill read 3a.
§ LORD DAVEY
said the Amendment standing in his name on the Paper was for the object of removing ambiguities in Section 4 of the principal Act which related to sub-contracting. He begged to move the Amendment.
In Clause 4, pages 3 and 4, to leave out the whole clause and to insert, 'Section 4 of the principal Act (which relates to sub-contracting) shall be repealed, and in lieu thereof the following section shall be substituted:—(1) Where any person, being an undertaker within the meaning of this Act (in this section referred to as the principal) contracts with any person (in this section referred to as the contractor) for the execution by or under the contractor of any work, and the principal would, if such work were executed by workmen immediately employed by him, be liable to pay compensation under this Act to those workmen in respect of any accident arising out of and in the course of their employment, the principal shall be liable to pay to any workman employed by the contractor in the execution of the work
any compensation which he would have been liable to pay it the workman had been immediately employed by him; and where proceedings are taken against the principal, then in the application of this Act references to the principal shall be substituted for references to the employer, except in the provisions relating to the amount of compensation. Provided that the principal shall be entitled to be indemnified by the person by whom the workman was immediately employed and by any intermediate contractor, and any intermediate contractor called on to indemnify the principal shall be entitled to be indemnified by the person by whom the workman was immediately employed, and by any contractor intermediate between him and that person, and so on, and any such indemnity shall, in accordance with rules of Court, be enforceable in a County Court. (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a workman recovering compensation under this Act from the contractor instead of the principal, if the contractor is an undertaker within the meaning of this Act. (3) This section shall not apply to any contract with any person for the execution by or under the contractor of any work which is merely ancillary or incidental to and is no part of or process in the trade or business carried on by the principal, nor shall it apply in any case where the accident occurred elsewhere than on, or in, or about the premises, work, or building in respect of which the principal is the undertaker within the meaning of this Act.'"— (Lord Davey.)
§ LORD BELPER
I admit that the Amendment which has just been proposed by the noble and learned Lord does not alter the sense of the clause in any way. It, no doubt, does away with some of the ambiguity which he complained of in the former stage, and as the Government think it will improve the Bill we are very glad to accept it.
§ THE EARL OF WEMYSS
My Lords, I only wish to say, before this Bill leaves your Lordships' House, that I opposed legislation of this character in 1895 on the ground that it tended to lower wages. About two years ago I met a great supporter of this legislation and pointed out to him that the plain English of it is that 100 or 1,000 men employed in a factory receive less wages on the off-chance that one of them may lose a finger. "That is true," was the reply, "but the men do not know it." I answered that it would be my business to make it known to the men, and, therefore, I hope this 55 short observation will be reported in the public Press in the morning.
§ Drafting Amending agreed to.
§ Moved, "That the Bill do now pass."— (Lord Davey.)
§ On Question. Motion agreed to, and Bill sent to the Commons.
§ House adjourned at five minutes before Eight o'clock, till Tomorrow, half-past Ten o'clock.