HC Deb 26 February 1929 vol 225 cc1771-3

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total amount paid in respect of claims dealt with by the Sumner Commission; the average percentage of the total amount claimed that was actually paid; how these payments compare with those proposed in respect of the Irish claims; and whether he will consider making financial provision for the additional amount to put the Sumner claimants on the same basis as the Irish claimants?


The total amount paid in respect of claims dealt with by the Sumner Commission is £4,904,647. It is not possible to state the average percentage of the amount paid to the amount claimed, since in many cases the claims received did not specify any exact sum. As has been repeatedly stated by successive Governments during recent years, the amount allocated from voted moneys by way of compensation for damage by enemy action must be regarded as final, and the Government see no reason to reopen this question in consequence of the


The right hon. Gentleman said "etc." What does he mean by "etc"?


I said "tea, coffee, cocoa, etc." The principal item in the "etc." is chicory.

Following are the figures:

view which the House took about the awards recommended by the Irish Grants Committee.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of last week, where he will find many cogent reasons for reopening this question?


No, Sir. Reasons for not reopening it.


How does the right hon. Gentleman know what view the House took?


It has been borne in upon me from various quarters, both by the speeches which were made in the course of the Debate, and by the obvious desire of the party opposite that this money should be paid, that the Government would do well to defer to the assent of the House of Commons.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the seamen who suffered during the War were promised, again and again, that they would be compensated?


That does not arise out of the question.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

The right hon. Gentleman did refer to it in order to justify his action. May I put the supplementary question to him, because it does seem to be relevant?


I cannot deal with cases of which I have not had notice. My argument was that there are many hard cases, but it had no weight with hon. Members opposite.