THE SCOURGE OF MINERS' PHTHISIS
Maoriland Worker, Volume 13, Issue 31, 1 August 1923, Page 14
THE SCOURGE OF MINERS' PHTHISIS
A Humane Bill Introduced by W. E. Parry, MP. We publish below the terms of a Miners' Phthisis Bill, drafted by Mr. yr. E. Parry, M.P., and circulated amongst members of the House and others last week. The Maoriland "Worker invites all unions, particularly Gold Miners' and Quarry Workers' Unions, and branches of the Labour Party, to closely study the provisions of the Bill, and to render all possible support to Mr. Parry in securing its enactment by flooding the Ministerial office with favourable resolutions.
In a letter to The Maoriland Worker, generally explaining its objects, Mr. Parry says:— Dear Comrade, —I am enclosing my Phthisis Bill for use. 1 might say that this Bill is the first industrial Bill that has demanded adequate provision for workers when they are wrecked as a result of bad industrial conditions. It makes provision for a man to.receive a pension irrespective of howvdr where he contracted the disease. I hold that the Government is well safeguarded against people coming from, other countries by the medical inspection of persons arriving in New Zealand. Men who contract phthisis in tunnels, qudrries, stone'cuttings or stone crushers, will all be eligible for a pension, together with medical comforts and medicine, which is very much required at the present time. The basis of pensions is that of soldiers' pensions, and I claim that every worker who has been maimed or cripples in rendering service to the country, is entitled to the same consideration as those who are crippled in defence of their country.
It will also be noted that the wife is well protected, as it gives her the right to draw the pension, even though the husband may have violated his duties to her. The children are also safeguarded, even though, the mother deserts her children, or if the children are left orphans.
It also covers the case of a pensioner dying in Australia, who may die when temporarily absent. In this case the wife and children shall have the j-ight to draw the pension. With best wishes.—W. E. PARRY.
After setting out.that its object is "to make provision for pensioners to-j tally incapacitated for work by rea-i son of miners' phthisis," the Bill pro-! ceeds: Short Title. 1. This Act may be cited as the Miner's Phthisis Act, 1923. Interpretation, 2. In this Act, if not inconsistent with the context, "Commissioner" means the Commissioner under the Pensions Act, 1913; "Medical practitioner" means a registered medical j practitioner appointed by the Coih-i missioner for the purposes of this Act; "Registrar" means a Registrar, of Pensions under the Pensions Act,; 1913. Pensions to Miners Incapacitated by Pneumoconiosis. 3. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any miner who is, or hereafter becomes, totally incapacitatedfor work owing to miners 1 phthisis(pneumoconiosis), and who conforms to the requirements hereinafter set; forth shall during, such incapacity be; entitled to a pension at the rate of '£2 per week, together with such necessary medical comforts and mcdi-; cines as the Commissioner may con-! sider reasonable, and, if married, his wife shall receive £1 per week, and 10/- per week for each child under 16 years of age dependent upon him. Pension to Partially Incapacitated Miner.
(2) The Registrar may, in the event of partial incapacity, grant a pensions in accordance with the meastcre of disability of the applicant. Conditions Precedent to -Grant of Pension, 4. No such miner shall be entitled to a pension under this Act, unless jne: fnlnlls the following fisat is to say:—(a) That he has pot deserted or failed to provide for Ma wife or children J and (5) That Ire is of good moral character and sober; habits: Provided that nothing in paragraphs
(a) and (b) shall be a bar to wife and children receiving•■' the pension as set forth in section three hereof; and in the case of the wife leaving her husband and children the pension shall be payable to the; husband or the approved guardian'of the children. Pension to Widow of Deceased Kiher. 5. (1) If any person entitled to a pension under this Act 'dies., of miner's, phthisis leaving a widow ./(without children), his widow shall be, entitled to a pension at the rate of 1/10/--per week, and if the widow has a. child or children, she shall receive £2 per week and 10/- per week for each child dependent upon him under the age of 16. The Registrar may continue the persion to a female child until the age of 17 years and to any infirm child for a longer period. Any orphan or motherless child may be granted a pension of 15/- per week. Pensions in Respect of Children When Miner is predeceased hy Wife. (2) On the death of a miner, notwithstanding his wife having" predeceased him, payment of. 10/- per week for each child shall be made to the approved guardian of the children. Funeral Expenses. (3) On the death of a miner entitled to a pension under this Act there shall be payable for funeral expenses the sum of £20. Payments under this sub-section may be made to the widow (if any) of the deceased, or to any person by whom the expenses were incurred, or to any person entitled to receive payment in respect of such funeral: Provided that no payment., shall be made under this subsection unless application for the same is made in the prescribed manner within twelve months after the date of death. i i Applications for Pensions. 6. (1) Every application for a pension under this Act shall be made in writing in the prescribed form to the Registrar of the pensions district wherein the claimant resides. (2) Every such application shall be investigated and determined by the Commissioner, whose decision shall be final and conclusive. Certificate to Accompany Application For Pension. 7. (1) Every application for a pension under this Act shall be accompanied by a certificate in the prescribed form from a medical practitioner that the applicant is suffering from miner's. phthisis and is totally incapacitated for work by reason thereof, and by such evidence as the Commissioner may require. Medical Examination of Pensioners. (2) The Commissioner may from time to time ask for the re-examina- j tion of a pensioner by a medical practitioner, and, if the Commissioner is j satisfied as the result of such re-ex-j ainination that the incapacity of the miner from'miner's phthisis no longer exigts he may terminate the pension, Such termination shall not bar the applicant from applying for a fresh pension should this incapacity recur. Application of Pensions Act for Certain Purposes.
8. (1) The provisions of the Pensions Act, 1913 (other than provisions' relating to the property or income of an applicant for a pension), which are not inconsistent with the Act, together with the forms and regulations thereunder, shall extend and apply, with all necessary modifications, to every application made under this Act and to every pension granted thereunder. Pension not Forfeited by Temporary Absence From ISew Zealand. (2) A pension shall not be payable under this Act to any person while out of New Zealand: Provided that ho instalments of pension shall be forfeited in respect of any period of absence from New Zealand which does not exceed two-years; and, further, provided that the death of a pensioner during temporary absence from New Zealand shall not prevent his widow and •children obtaining a pension as provided for in sub-section one of section five hereof. Limitation of Bight to Receive Pension. 9. Notarithstanding anything to the contrary in the Miner's Phthisis Act 1915, no pension shall be paid under that AaSt to any person who is in receipt of a pension under the War Pensions Act, 1916, of an equal Or greater amoiint, in respect of death or disablement of a -member of the EfaipeaJfion-ary Forces due to miner's phthisis. Section 16 of Mining* Amendment Act, 10. Cr) The gold duty payable under section sixteen of the Mining Amendment
Act, 1910,. shall after the commencement of this Act be paid into the Public Account. (2) Any money to the credit of the Gold-miners' Relief Fund on the commencement of this Act shall be paid by the Public Trustee into the Public Account. Regulations. 11. The Governor-General may .from time to time, by Order^in-'Council, make regulations for the remuneration and terms of employment of medical: practitioners appointed under this' Act, and generally for the purpose of carrying, this Act into effect. Payment of Pensions out of Consolidated iFund. 12. (1) The Minister of Finance shall from time to time, without further appropriation than this Act, pay put of the Consolidated Fund into the Post Office Account by way of imprest whatever moneys are necessary for the payment of pensions under this Other Expenses to be Appropriated. (2) All expenses incurred in the administration of this Act other than the payment of pensions shall be payable out of moneys to be from time to time appropriated by Parliament. Repeal. 13. Sub-sections three, four, and five of section sixteen of the Mining- Amendment Act, 1910, section ten of the Mining Amendment Act, 1911, and section eight of the Mining Amendment Act, 1913, and the Miner's Phthisis Act, 1915, are hereby repealed.