§ 42. Mr. BYRNE
asked the Minister of Labour what Department or authority are responsible for the payment of compensation to the dependants of the ten Irish workmen who lost their lives owing to the sinking of the Dublin steamer "Fern" by enemy action on 23rd April; if he is aware that the Dublin Labour Exchange acted as agents and engaged these men for the British Dyes Company, Huddersfield, and provided them with travelling vouchers to proceed to Huddersfield on steamship "Fern"; and whether the Government, the shipping company, or the British Dyes Company will look after the dependants of these men, some of whom are now in receipt of relief from the Poor Law authorities?
§ Mr. G. ROBERTS
These workmen received the usual facilities offered by the Employment Exchanges in the way of bringing before them the offer of engagement by the British Dyes Company, and of advancing their rail and steamship fares. This does not render the Department liable to pay compensation in respect of the loss of life which unfortunately occurred en route. I am not in a position to advise as to the liabilities of the British Dyes Company or the shipping company.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
The hon. Member asked me whether I could say what Department or authority was responsible for the payment of compensation. I admit my inability to give that information.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
I am not likely to assent to that, but I am unable to indicate where the liability is, if it can be ascertained.