For the first time in history the role of pickets was adopted by medical men at a meeting of Middlesex County Council Insurance Committee at Caxton Hall,
When they returned to the meeting, the committee were informed that the medical men had unanimously decided on the capitation method of remuneration.
A small committee of eight doctors was appointed, with whom the sub-committe might confer next week, in regard to other matters of detail under the Act.
The doctors present came from all parts of Middlesex and it was stated that those present were quite satisfied that there would be little difficulty in establishing panels throughout Middlesex
The pickets had a circular printed copies of which they distributed in those going to the meeting
In the course of an interview Mr. Glyn-Jones MP said that when he reached the hall he found about a dozen doctors mostly dressed in frock coats and silk hats in the vestibule of the hall.
"they asked if i was a medical man he said "and they urged me not to attend the meeting when it started they demanded to go inside. I told the leader they could go on the same terms as the other doctors- by signing the card”. They then said they had succeeded in keeping forty-five men outside. I asked them what right they had to keep forty-five men out and themselves demand to come in. Someone else suggested that according to their own circular they could not enter without losing their honour and professional unity. The pickets were very persistent and followed the doctors up the stairs. Mr Ben Smith, a member of the committee who is connected with the Cabdrivers Union was very merry at their expense. He himself was wearing a badge and remarking that it was illegal for them to do the work of pickets without wearing the badge of their union, offered to lend them his own. His chaff created much amusement
January 1913 Uxbridge Advertiser
First time the British Medical Association (BMA) used Pickets
Benjamin "Ben" Smith
Lived in Acton had obviously been co-opted to this
Middlesex County Council sub committee,
Ben Smith lived at 29 Birkbeck Avenue, Horn Lane, Acton. and was active in "many committees in Acton".
He was Organising Secretary of the London & Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers Union)and then later United Vehicle Workers (formally the Cabdrivers union), later still the TGWU
Benjamin "Ben" Smith was elected on 8th March 1919 as the first Labour Middlesex County Councillor for Hayes, West Middlesex
Labour Member of Parliament for Rotherhithe 1923-1931 and 1935-1946
Private Companies NO