HC Deb 23 October 1967 vol 751 c1337
35. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Attorney-General what progress has been made in the various actions instituted by Her Majesty's Government to recover damages caused by the stranding of the "Torrey Canyon".

The Attorney-General (Sir Elwyn Jones)

As we succeeded in obtaining a bond for £3 million in respect of the action which we are bringing in Singapore against the Barracuda Tanker Corporation, we are proceeding with that action and our statement of claim has been delivered. In these circumstances, no further step has been taken in the actions commenced by us in this country and in Bermuda. The Barracuda Tanker Corporation and the Union Oil Company have brought proceedings in New York to limit their liability to 50 dollars, and we shall be contesting those proceedings.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say, quite apart from our chances of establishing liability for the damage, whether he thinks we will succeed in preventing the companies from limiting their liability?

The Attorney-General

We shall do our utmost to prevent them limiting their liability.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Can the Attorney-General say, pending the decision in those particular actions, what steps he is taking to compensate the people of the seaside resorts which were affected by the oil?

The Attorney-General

It is a little premature to speak of compensation until we have won the action.