2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 19

The Report stage of the Insurance Bill in the House

of Commons was begun on Tuesday and continued on Wednes- day and Thursday. On Tuesday the discussion centred chiefly in the new clause which Mr. Lloyd George pro- posed to add to the Bill, which would allow approved societies (with the permission of the Commissioners) to offer alternative benefits of equal value in place of those laid down in the Bill, with the exception of the medical benefit. This would permit domestic servants and other classes to obtain a superannua- tion benefit. In the course of the discussion Mr. Lloyd George agreed that the maternity benefit should also be made unexchangeable. On Wednesday Lord Hugh Cecil attempted to move an amendment to secure a Referendum on the Bill before it came into force, but the Speaker ruled that the matter must be postponed to the end of the Report stage. Among other questions debated was that of the extensive patronage placed under the control of the Government by the Bill. Mr. Lloyd George pointed out that all future appoint- ments would be made by the Commissioners.