HC Deb 03 July 1916 vol 83 cc1191-2
15. Mr. G. TERRELL

asked whether there is any fund for dealing with losses sustained by Australian merchants through enemy vessels at the outbreak of war going into neutral ports and remaining there; and, if not, whether he can see his way to extend the powers of the Prize Claims Committee, so as to enable them to consider claims of this character, which are at present outside their jurisdiction.?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. There is no fund in existence out of which losses of the character mentioned in the question can be dealt with. The Prize Claims Committee can only deal with claims against ships or cargoes which have either been condemned, or ordered to be detained by a Prize Court in the British Dominions. None of the losses referred to have been sustained in connection with such ships and cargoes, and it is not possible to extend the powers of the Committee so as to enable them to deal with such losses.


Is there no fund out of which compensation can be given for these very important losses which are equally as meritorious as other losses?


No such fund of any kind exists. These are losses involved by the War and, like any other losses of the same kind, they cannot be dealt with out of any existing funds.


Could not the merchants have avoided the losses by not shipping by German steamers?

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