HC Deb 08 December 1954 vol 535 c933
4. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government of Guatemala have now settled the claim for compensation in respect of the bombing of the British steamer, ss. "Springfjord," on 27th June last.

Mr. Turton

The preparation of the claim by the various interested parties is not yet complete, but as soon as it is ready Her Majesty's Government will raise the matter with the Guatemalan authorities.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Bearing in mind that compensation has already been paid in respect of the airliner which was shot down in the China Sea a month later than the date on which this ship was bombed, will the hon. Gentleman explain why, in South America, this Government appears to be so flabby in protecting British interests? Is he further aware that the Government have become very unpopular with Lloyds?

Mr. Turton

The answer is that we are not responsible for the preparation of the claim in this case. The parties who are responsible have to take some time on the preparation of a claim, and legal gentlemen do take a long time over these matters.