§ 6. Mr. HAYES
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the old age and ill-health of Mrs. Catherine Sayle, of 87, Saxony Road, Kensington, Liverpool, her belated reparation claim in respect of her late son can be reconsidered, having in mind, in addition, the fact that Mrs. Sayle is rarely physically fit to leave home, and was not aware that claims could be entertained until 7th December last?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The first intimation of a desire to claim was not notified by Mrs. Sayle to the Reparation Claims Department until 8th December, 1924, long after the final date fixed for the acceptance of claims against the £300,000 fund provided for solatia to belated claimants. In these circumstances, the answer to the hon. Member's question must be in the negative.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I do not think it would be possible. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the question of 258 whether these belated claims should come in at all has been very carefully considered and a tremendous amount of advertising was done by my predecessor in order to bring the fund under the notice of everybody. We really must fix a definite date.
§ 11. Mr. HAYES
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the hardships and dissatisfaction existing among many members and ex-members of the mercantile marine, their widows and dependants, on account of the meagre payments made in respect of reparation claims submitted to the Royal Commission, and the exclusion of a large number of claims on the ground that they are out of time, the Government will consider a further extension of time and a further supplementary grant?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Guinness)
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to questions by the hon. Members for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Harmsworth) and Cardiff East (Sir C. Kinloch-Cooke) on the 12th February, to which I cannot add anything.
These figures were maximum figures, and where they have to be spread pro rata over a large number of cases it is obviously impossible to arrange for spending right up to the limit.
Oh, no. This money was all advanced out of the taxpayers' pockets as a maximum, and the Sumner Commission did their best to spread it over a large number of claims in proportion to their merits. If you have a small margin it would be a matter of great complication to re-open the whole question and make that insignificant fresh payment to all claimants.