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BOTHA'S BARBARISM.I

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SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION IN…

ELECTORAL REFORM

NEW COMPENSATION POINTi APPEAL.

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NEW COMPENSATION POINT i APPEAL. ANTE-DATING OF AWARDS I The Master of the Rolls, Sir Samuel Evans, and Mr. Justice Eve, sitting as a Court of Appeal to hear workmen's compensation cases, have had before them the case of Williams v. Bwllfa and Merthyr Dare Steam Collieries (1891), Limited. This was an appeal by the respondents, the employers, for a reversal of the decision and award of Judge Bryn Roberts at the Aberdare County Court. Mr. John Sankey, K.C., and Mr. Parsons were for respondents, and Mr. R. Vaughan Williams, K.C., and Mr. A. T. James appeared for the appellants. Mr. Parsons, in opening the case, said the employers appealed from the decision of the county judge, whereby he awarded the injured workman, an infant at the time he met with the accident, an increase of compensation. The workman appealed under the pro- visions of Schedule I., paragraph 16, of the Act of 1906, which stated:- "Any weekly payment may be received at the request of either of the employ- er os of the workman, and on such re- view may be ended, diminished or in- creased, subject to the maximum above provided, and the amount of payment in default of agreement be settled by arbitration under this Act, provided that where the workman was at the date of accident under 21 years of age, and the review takes place more than 12 months after the accident, the amount of the weekly payment may be increased to any amount not exceed- ing 50 per cent. of the weekly sum which the workman would probably have been earning at the date of the review if he had remained uninjured, but not in any case evceeding £ 1." What the county court judge had done was that he had acceded to the application of the workman, and in- creased his compensation to a consider- able amount, and in increasing the i compensation he was retrospective. The judge, in fact, ante-dated to a period roughly of a year and a half before the date of the request for review. The employers now said that in the first place the county court judge had no piwer to do this, and that he could not do more for the workman than to ante- date the order until the i$rne the appli- cation was made. The facts were that the applicant Williams suff-ereh from nystagmus as from February 6th, 1911, and was not at that time of age. As a collier he earned abiut 26s. a week, and lOss. compensation was paid until April, 1911, when Williams went back to work j as a surf acje labourer at 26s. Id. a week. On some dispute arising the county court judge made an order re- viewing the previous decision, and in- creased the compensation, ante-dating it as stated. Mr. Roland Vaughan Williams, for the workman, submitted that the view taken by the county court judge was the right one, and that he only applied his mind, as a jury would do, as to the man's earnings at the time of the re- view and to those he earned earlier. THE JUDGMENT. I Sir Samuel Evans said the real ques- il tion in this appeal was from what date the county court judge, acting as ar- bitrator, could increase the amount of compensation paid, under the proviso. There was no evidence before the Court of Appeal as to any fixed date being mentioned in the court below, but as to what the probable earnings were at the date of the application the judge appeared not to have directed his mind. The judge was also wrong in his con- struction of the paragraph of the schedule as to his powers for the re- trospective order which he made, and t. the appeal must be allowed with costs. Their Lordships ooncurred and the appeal was allowed.

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ELECTORAL REFORM

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