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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72



The example of Germany has not been without its effect on Switzerland; but the Federal Government of that country is limited in its powers, and could not, of its own authority, adopt any form of compulsory insurance. In 1890 it was therefore resolved to propose an amendment of the Constitution which will authorise the Federal Government to pass laws of that character. The text of the amendment is as follows:—"The Confederation has the right to introduce, by way of legislation, compulsory insurance against accidents. It has also the right to legislate as regards insurance against illness, and to make it compulsory on all those receiving salaries to join an insurance society of that nature." This amendment has been referred to and confirmed by the popular vote, but there has not yet been time for the Federal Government to pass the proposed bills. But the lines on page 21 which that legislation will proceed have been clearly indicated. There trill be no attempt to establish a central fund, which, it is thought, would afford too many opportunities for fraudulent practices. "The State will draw up the regulations under which the system is to be worked, and will exercise supervision over it when once started, but it is to the local and cantonal institutions already existing that the Government looks for carrying out its plans of insurance." The Swiss Government will thus begin with compulsory insurance against sickness and accidents, as Germany did; but it does not mean to end there. M. Droz, the head of the Federal Foreign Department, says that further measures in the direction of protecting the working classes from the casualties of life are in preparation, and will in duo time be produced.