18. Colonel NEWMAN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the British Government has agreed with the Irish Free State Government to have a branch of the Compensation Commission set up in England to deal with claims for compensation in respect of injuries to persons or property sustained since the 11th July, 1921, made by persons whose lives would be in danger if the cases were to be heard in the Irish Free State; and, if not, how is it proposed that these cases should be dealt with?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
In reply to the first part of the question, the Compensation (Ireland) Commission has no power to deal with any claims for compensation in respect of injuries sustained since 11th July, 1921. In reply to the second part, as regards injuries to property, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to Clause 12 of the Damage to Property (Compensation) Bill, which provides in certain cases for the taking of evidence on commission elsewhere than in the Free State. As regards injuries to the members of the forces of the Crown, Mr. Howell Thomas and Mr. Dowdall, who are members of the Commission, have already, as a matter of convenience, heard a number of cases in this country: in the case of other persons I understand that the Committee established by the Free State will make such arrangements as may appear to them to be necessary.
23 and 24. Colonel NEWMAN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether he is aware that the Damage to Property (Compensation) Bill, which has been before the Senate and Dail of the Irish Free State, seeks to enact that 946 all decrees for compensation for injuiries to property during the pre-truce period are irrecoveable and prevents any legal proceedings being brought in respect of such injuries; and whether the Government intends to take any steps to preserve for the claimant the right conferred on him by an Act of the Imperial Parliament or, in the alternative, to themselves pay the compensation, as was done by a former Government when loyalist Americans were expelled to Canada at the termination of the war of independence;
(2) whether he is aware that the Damage to Property (Compensation) Bill has now passed both Houses of the Irish Free State legislature; and whether, in accordance with the terms of the Irish Free State constitution, the Bill will be withheld for the Royal Assent having regard to its provisions?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
This Bill is still before the Irish Parliament as the Senate has yet to consider certain amendments made by the Dail to the Senate's amendment. I can only therefore refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to him and to the hon. Member for Kensington South on the 23rd instant. I may add, however, that the Secretary of State for the Colonies and several of his colleagues in the Cabinet now hope to be able to receive the deputation to which I referred in that reply on Thursday next.