Oral Answers to Questions — Post-War Reconstruction.

– in the House of Commons on 5th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether he is aware of the serious disparities in the present structure of the social services, including workmen's compensation; and whether his post-war plans will include the consideration of proposals for improvement and for equality of assistance to meet equal measures of social disability?

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

I am fully aware that our system of social services, greatly as it has improved the general standard of life, has certain inequalities, disparities and gaps. It is the primary task of the Interdepartmental Committee under Sir William Beveridge to recommend such improvements as will give uniform assistance in all cases of need. The committee is meeting regularly and hearing evidence. Workmen's compensation is included in its terms of reference.

Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

Do we understand from that answer that the State-insured person now getting 18s. will get at least a similar amount for compensation, and that compensation is to go up by 50 to 100 per cent.?

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

My hon. Friend had better await the report of the committee. What I have said is that the committee are considering equality of treatment for equality of harm or injury.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Is it open to the Beveridge Committee to consider taking workmen's compensation completely out of the hands of insurance companies?

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

That is undoubtedly within their terms of reference.