§ 9. Viscount CURZON
asked whether any estimate of the total amount of prize money available for distribution to the officers and men of the Royal Navy can now be given, and if these figures will represent the total amount realised during the War; if any legal costs will be, or have been, deducted from the total sum; if so, how much; and also what proportion it is estimated will be divided between officers and men?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
It is impossible to frame any estimate of the amount likely to be available for distribution. There are still cases to be heard in the Prize Courts, apart from appeals. The Admiralty recently stated in Weekly Orders to the Fleet that, so far as can be seen at present, it is doubtful whether the value of one share will be much more than £1 or £1 10s. And I am afraid we cannot go further than that.
As regards legal charges against the fund, the Noble Lord is no doubt aware 1168 that paragraph 1 of Part 2 of the Schedule to the Naval Prize Act of 1918, which deals with charges on the Naval Prize Fund, is designed to relieve the fund of legal expenses which in the past have been a heavy charge against the captors. As regards the last part of the question, it is estimated that 23½ per cent. of the fund distributed will go to commissioned and warrant officer ranks and 76½ per cent. to the ratings.
§ Viscount CURZON
Can the right hon. Gentleman give any idea of the sum which is actually available for distribution at present?