HC Deb 31 May 1916 vol 82 cc2719-20
109. Mr. PETO

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he proposes to make such increase in the premium of policies of insurance against war risks to British merchant vessels as would enable them to cover allowance to dependants in the case of loss of life where vessels are reported missing in the War area, but where it cannot be proved that their loss is due directly to the action of the enemy, and also to cover the loss of seamen's effects in cases where they are lost owing to circumstances connected with the War but not directly due to the operations of the enemy?


In case of loss of life compensation can be paid under the Government War Risks Scheme if there is any reason whatever to think that the loss was due to a war peril. Strict proof is not required. Loss of personal effects through marine perils is not covered by the terms of the War Risks Scheme, but the Board of Trade are prepared to consider proposals as to the best method of dealing with these cases. It is not proposed to increase the premiums charged on ships for this purpose.

110. Mr. PETO

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the profits that have been made by shipowners and the increased cost of living in this country, he will take steps to see that the dependants' scheme, from which an allowance of £1 per week is granted to the dependants of interned merchant captains, officers, and seamen, is increased in proportion to the cost of living, and fixed at a sum at which it is possible for them to live; and whether he will put this into effect by making the slight addition which would be required in the amount of the premium paid for the insurance of vessels against war risks which would be necessary to cover the additional cost?


I am afraid that I cannot add to the reply which was given to the hon Member on this subject on 24th May.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the suggestion in the question of a very slight increase of the premiums paid against war risks to enable him to make adequate provision for the dependants of officers and seamen interned for months in Germany?


I should like notice of the question.