§ Sir ARCHIBALD WILLIAMSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether a claim for the value of the steamer "EI Zorro" was received by the Transport Department of the Admiralty over two months ago; whether the Accountant-General is still waiting for the Transport Department before paying the owners; whether it is the usual practice to delay payments for losses of vessels requisitioned by the Admiralty to the extent above-mentioned; and whether interest for the period will be allowed?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The claim was received by the Transport Department on the 1st January. It left that Department for other Departments concerned with the question of liability on 3rd January. My hon. Friend must please understand that the Transport Department is in no way responsible for the delay, inevitable as it now appears, in dealing with this claim. I have already informed him by communication on the 6th March that the delay in dealing with the claim is due to the fact that a question of some complexity has arisen out of the circumstances attending the loss of the vessel. That question is under the consideration of the Admiralty's legal advisers. As regards payment of interest, I may say that no provision is made for such payment in the Charter Party.