HC Deb 29 February 1916 vol 80 cc901-2W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the settlement of wages and compensation for loss of kit of the men who were drowned in the "Hawke" and "Bulwark," in 1914, and the "Formidable," in January, 1915, is not yet settled; if he can say how many cases are still outstanding; and what is the reason?


My hon. Friend will not, I think, press me for precise figures. But I may say that the number of unsettled claims represent only about 7 per cent of the total. I need not add that every endeavour will continue to be made to settle the cases outstanding. I should point out that in settling these claims the various accounts had to be reconstructed from such evidence as was available, the ships' books having been lost. This was a task of considerable magnitude, but arrangements were made for payment on account in those cases in which it was clear that some payment was due and the legal claim of the applicant had been established. The fact that there are cases outstanding, I may add, is due, amongst other reasons, to no applications having been received; no rightful claimant having come forward after refusal of the original applicant; relatives residing abroad; and delay in returning forms of claims and replying to inquiries.