18. Mr. DOYLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, in view of the reiterated statements on behalf of the Admiralty that the distribution of prize money would take place in the early part of spring of the present year, if he will state how many officers and men have received their grants up to the present time; how much has been distributed; and if the Board are aware of the fact that many of those entitled to the said money are being handicapped by the delay in paying it?
§ 20. Viscount CURZON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state what is the approximate total amount of the Prize Fund; whether any estimate can now be given of the amount available for distribution to the Royal Navy; if there is likely to be a balance between these two sums; whether any payments have yet been made out of the Prize Fund for any purpose; when a distribution will begin; and if the amount of one share can yet be stated?
§ Mr. LONG
The Admiralty are only concerned with the Naval Prize Fund, and not with the Prize Court Fund generally. The Court cases are not yet sufficiently advanced to enable an estimate to be made of the total amount of the Naval Prize Fund, but a sum of £5,600,000 is now in hand. There will, of course, be a balance between the Prize Court Fund and the Naval Prize Fund, but the Admiralty are only entitled, on behalf of the Naval Prize Fund, to Droits of the Crown, and are not concerned with the balance. Payments to the amount of about £1,300 for various charges have been made under Schedule 2 of the Naval Prize Act. A distribution of the sum in hand will begin forthwith, and an announcement to that effect is being published in Fleet Orders of this week.
The amount of one share for the present distribution is 50s.
375 Payment to Naval officers and men still serving with the Fleet and in Naval Establishments will be undertaken forthwith.
Payment to discharged and to demobilised officers and men, and to the representatives of those deceased who are eligible to participate, will begin early in June—due notice of which will be given in the Press. No applications made prior to the issue of such notice can be dealt with.