HC Deb 06 May 1918 vol 105 cc1835-6
4. Major HUNT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that certain cases in connection with the insurance policies of men killed in action were lately examined by the Director of Public Prosecutions; whether in connection with these cases there was evidence of alteration of policies by means of forgery on the part of the servants of the Prudential Assurance Company; whether any recommendations have been received in relation to these oases in order that the agents of insurances companies who fraudulently alter policies of men killed in action may be made the subject of a criminal prosecution; and, if the recommendations have been received, will the matter be immediately dealt with by the authorities, in view of the many pledges given by the Government that the interests of the serving men will be protected?


I am aware that certain complaints in connection with insurance policies, one of which was on the life of a man killed in action, have recently been investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who came to the conclusion that the evidence obtained was insufficient on which to found a criminal charge. There is no reason why an agent fraudulently altering a policy should not be made the subject of a criminal prosecution if the evidence obtainable is sufficient, and no recommendation for an alteration of the law in this respect has been made.

Major HUNT

Did not the right hon. Gentleman receive a recommendation from the Director of Public Prosecutions saying that there should be power to prosecute these people if they did alter these policies, and did he state that he did not appear to have the power to do so?


I am not aware of any such recommendation made, but I will make further inquiry.


Is it not a fact that this company have paid very large sums of money to people insured on peace terms, and have given them the benefit of war risks without any extra charge; further, is there not in this question a reflection upon a very large class of men who have done their best for the country; further—


The hon. Member must give notice of some of those questions.