8. Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the event of the grant of£300,00 towards the belated claims of the victims of enemy damage proving to be inadequate when these claims have all been received and examined, he will recommend the Government to make an increased grant so as to put the belated claimants in the same position as the earlier claimants?
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. and learned Member for East Fife (Mr. D. Millar) on the 5th May, a copy of which I am sending to him.
Does the right hon. Gentleman not consider that the measure of compensation should be the justice of the claim, and not the amount that the Government propose to distribute?
§ Major BURNIE
Has not a suns exceeding this amount been received from Germany, and can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it will be applied to the settlement of these claims?
The question of the solatium which is given—for it is only a solatium—is altogether separate from the claim of the British Government on the German Government. Whatever is paid by the German Government has to cover a very much larger field than these particular individual claims. If it is sug- 1943 gested that these individual sufferers are to take the whole of the receipts from the German Government, I am afraid I can only refer that to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Captain W. BENN
Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that these claimants have the first claim on the reparation payments made by Germany?
I am not prepared to admit that. In so far as these claimants are members of the mercantile marine, as many of them—perhaps most of them—are, they have already received compensation to the extent of something like£11,000,000, and what is now in question is merely a matter of a final solatium.
§ Mr. HARMSWORTH
Does the right hon. Gentleman regard the £300,000 as a final settlement of these claims?
I can only say that my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has said that it was a final payment by His Majesty's Government in respect of these claims.
§ 9. Mr. LUMLEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can now state when those who have put in claims, which have been classified as belated claims, to the Royal Commission on Suffering and Damage done by Enemy Action, will be informed of the decision come to with regard to their claims?
An endeavour is being made to have the examination of all the belated claims completed within four months, and the payment of claims would then be promptly begun. Claimants whose claims are entertained will be notified of the decision come to at the same time as payment is made. Claimants whose claims cannot be entertained are being communicated with as soon as possible after their claims have been examined.
§ Mr. HARMSWORTH
In the case of belated claimants whose claims have been turned down, will the claimants have another appeal against the decision?
It is the fact that some 35,000 claims have to be dealt with, and this can hardly be done under four months. There has never been any provision for an appeal. With regard to the first supplementary question, the last day for the receipt of claims was the 1st of June last, and new claims were put in right up to that date.
§ 12. Mr. WILBERFORCE ALLEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the payments made to civilians on account of impairment to health during their internment at Ruhleben during the War are final, seeing that the amounts so paid are only about two-fifths of the sums at which the claims were assessed by the Department concerned?
I would refer to the answer given by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the right hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Rawlinson) on 23rd June, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member.