HC Deb 23 May 1928 vol 217 cc1861-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, as regards the balance of £126,500 standing to the credit of the Naval Prize Fund which it is proposed to transfer to the Exchequer, he will state whether, in view of the fact that officers and men of the Merchant Navy were mainly responsible for the capture of German ships and cargoes, from which the Prize Fund was almost wholly drawn, that they suffered in the attacks made by German armed ships on British merchant ships and cargoes, and that only those have shared in the Prize Fund who held commissions in the Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in offensively armed vessels bearing the white ensign, it is possible to allot a proportion of this sum to charities identified with the officers and men of the Merchant Navy?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

The sum of £126,500 referred to represents the amount proposed to be transferred from the Naval Prize Fund to the Exchequer to meet the estimated liability imposed on the Exchequer, and would not in any case be available for distribution. When any further distribution of the residue of the Prize Fund takes place under Section 1 (3) of the Naval Prize Act, 1918, the claims of organisations representing the Mercantile Marine to participate will again receive full consideration, as they did in 1924 when the last general distribution was made.