asked the secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of F. Hughes, Mount Pleasant, Askern, near Doncaster, who met with an accident at the local colliery on 16th March, 1927, which caused temporary incapacity and necessitated an operation; that he presented himself before the compensation doctor for the purpose of undergoing the operation, but was informed that no bed was available or would be for several months; that full compensation was paid for four weeks and
three days, after which it was reduced to 2s. 6d. per week on the understanding that he was fit for light work, pending surgical treatment; that his employers refuse to find suitable employment, and as the injured man cannot afford to engage legal assistance he is deprived of any benefit under Section 16 of the Compensation Act, 1923; and will he inquire into this and similar cases with a view to amending the Compensation Act?
My right hon. Friend has made inquiry with regard to this case and is informed that while no bed was available at the local hospital, a bed was engaged for the workman at a home or hospital in Leeds, that money was given him by the colliery company to pay his expenses to Leeds, but that he never, in fact, presented himself at the home or hospital. Nor have the company refused to find him suitable employment. They would gladly employ him but, as they are employing other men on light work who have met with injuries, have no suitable job available at present. As regards the last part of the question, the Registrar points out that the workman does not need legal aid for the purposes of an application under the provision in question. If he attends at the Court, he will be assisted in filling up his papers and generally in bringing his case personally before the Court.
Although in theory the facts may seem to be as the hon. and gallant Gentleman indicates, is it not a fact that in practice it is almost an impossibility, under Section 16 of the Compensation Act of 1923, for a workman who is partially incapacitated to establish a claim for compensation, and will the hon. and gallant Gentleman look into this matter with a view to amending Section 16 of that Act?