§ 8. Sir Cooper Rawson
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that Mr. Joseph Martin would have received compensation from the Soviet Government if, on the 2nd May, 1923, a demand had been made on his behalf similar to that which was successfully made for Mrs. Davison and Mrs. Harding; and, seeing that these three were the only personal injury cases which had been taken up with the Soviet Government and in which compensation had been pressed for prior to May, 1923, he can say what reparation it is now proposed to offer Mr. Martin for the suffering caused him through negligence on the part of His Majesty's then Government in omitting to include a demand for compensation for him also in the note of the 2nd May, 1923, when his claim could have been satisfactorily settled?
§ Mr. Butler
I cannot accent the inferences drawn by my hon. Friend, particularly in regard to negligence on the part of the Government. An attempt has already been made to explain to him the difficulties of this case. There is, unfortunately, no certainty that a demand made on Mr. Martin's behalf in the circumstances described would have been successful.
§ Sir C. Rawson
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the other two cases dealt with they were held out as an ultimatum, subject to the trade agreement being signed, and that Mr. Martin's case is on a similar footing? Does the Government deny any liability at all?
§ Mr. Butler
There is no question of negligence on the part of the Government. The two cases were put forward on definite grounds and I can only say that Mr. Martin's case has not been accepted.
§ Major-General Sir Alfred Knox
Is it not true that Mr. Martin suffered frightful hardship and is it not the duty of the Government to give him some reparation?