§ MR. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN (Kent, Tonbridge)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he has received a complaint from the rector of Angle, Pembrokeshire, to the effect that the firing of big guns in Fort Popton, in Milford Haven, has caused serious damage to his rectory house; whether he is aware that the rector sent in an application for compensation to the Commanding Officer Royal Engineers at Pembroke Dock a few weeks ago, and that this application was refused; whether, in other similar cases, compensation has been given; and whether it is the intention of the War Office to give compensation in this case?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. ST. JOHN BRODMCK,) Surrey, Guildford
The claim for compensation has been received, and has been refused. In accordance with the advice of the law officers of the Crown the War-Department invariably repudiates all liability in such cases. In some cases, however, when special reasons have been shown, a grant has been made as an act of grace. The fort in question is at a considerable distance from the rectory, 867 and it is impossible to say, on the evidence now before us, whether the latter is affected by the firing. A representative of the War Department will, however, visit the place when firing from the battery is proceeding, and will report upon the effects produced.