HC Deb 28 July 1943 vol 391 c1567
42. Mr. David Adams

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether arrangements have now been, or will be, made for the settlement of compensation claims of injured workmen in Government service in Sierra Leone by the local branch of the Overseas Department instead of by the respective Government Departments in this country, whereby delays and hardship to injured applicants or their dependants ensue?

Mr. Alexander

The hon. Member will understand that I can only speak for locally entered Admiralty employees. The arrangements which he has in mind are partially those which already operate, since where temporary incapacity results from an injury clearly attributable to the Service, hurt pay is assessed and paid locally without reference to this country. Local action cannot at present be taken in cases of injury involving total destruction of earning capacity, or in which incapacity, whether total or partial, continues after discharge. Awards in these cases are made by the Treasury, under the Injury Warrant framed under the Superannuation Acts. In any case of fatal injury involving hardship to dependants and where there is no doubt that an award would ultimately be made, an advance may be authorised locally by the responsible Admiralty officer. Sometimes, however, the case is one needing the careful investigation of experts, and I am afraid that it is not possible to entrust local authorities with any discretion to make awards in doubtful cases.

Mr. Adams

May we take it that, where-ever it is practicable, cases of injury will be settled on the other side rather than wasting months of time?

Mr. Alexander

Within the terms of my answer, certainly, but not in doubtful cases.