Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 17th July 1941.

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Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will amend the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme in order to cover a Civil Defence volunteer against injury during the period when he leaves home to report to his post for duty and when he leaves his post to return to his home?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

A Civil Defence volunteer going to and from duty is covered by the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme for injuries caused to him by enemy action. For other injuries the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, requires that the injury shall have arisen "out of and in the course of" duty, a requirement similar to that laid down by the Workmen's Compensation Acts. This requirement would not be satisfied during the periods in question under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act any more than under the Workmen's Compensation Acts. If, however, the journey is made in response to an emergency call (for example, an air-raid warning) the injury can be brought within the scope of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Will my right hon. Friend once more look into the case of an air-raid warden in my constituency who sustained a fracture of his leg in the early morning of 13th March while going to ordinary duty as an air-raid warden, and received no compensation, and who cannot work yet?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I am certainly prepared to look into any cases which my hon. and gallant Friend submits to me, but I have to take into account whether the man was going on duty as a result of an emergency call, or just proceeding along the street in the ordinary way.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Why does the right hon. Gentleman tie this scheme to workmen's compensation, when he knows that the State has to have regard to these injuries to civil defence workers, whereas the workman has to challenge capitalist insurance companies for his rights under workmen's compensation?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

These conditions were laid down after close consultation with the Trades Union Congress representatives and representatives of the employers' associations, and with the agreement of all concerned. That is all I can say about it.