HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 cc271-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade if claims arising out of bombardment by enemy aircraft are being declined on the ground that the insured had also signed the coupon of a weekly paper, which paper refuses to accept liability on account of the claim not being made against it in the prescribed time; and, seeing that the Government refuse to pay the damage insured for until the insured has exhausted the funds of the weekly paper, will he say what action he now proposes to take?


It is a special condition of the Government policy that the insured must exhaust his rights against any other subsisting insurance before claiming under the Government policy. A newspaper insurance coupon is a subsisting insurance, and I see no reason why the Government should relieve a newspaper of any liabilities which it may have legally incurred for its own purposes. The question of exhausting the funds of the newspaper does not, of course, arise.


Will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that the Department will take some steps to bring these newspapers to book when they make promises and do not perform them?


We have considered this matter carefully. The situation is a very difficult position. If my hon. Friend will give me particulars of any actual cases, we will look into them and see what can be done. It is very important to the insurer that where the newspaper is liable it should fulfil its liabilities; otherwise, the insurer is left stranded between the two parties.


What newspaper is it?