HC Deb 27 February 1917 vol 90 cc1845-6

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government have decided that the loss inflicted on any body of traders by direct legislation or order gives such traders a primâ facie right to present a claim for compensation to the Duke Commission; and, if otherwise, will he say why certain traders and persons receive compensation for Government interference with their business whilst others do not?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

As stated in paragraph 4 of the first Report of the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission, it is impossible to make a determination for payment out of public funds in respect of loss arising through the enforcement of any order or regulation of general application. Such payment can only be made in cases where the property or business of the applicant has been the subject of a direct and particular interference such as between subjects would have given cause of action for damages.


Take the case of the licensed trade. May I ask whether the raw materials required come under special and not general regulations? Will that trade, for example, have the right of compensation?


I do not think that can possibly be said to be a right. It is really a general order reducing imports of all kinds, and this trade suffers like many others.