asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether he is aware that the claim of the Walton Motors, Limited, has been awaiting hearing before the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors since 2nd June, 1919; that this claim amounts to a very considerable sum; that the absence of settlement is naturally embarrassing to the company; and that the Disposal Board are now selling engines embodying the patents of this company at a lower price than they can now be produced; and whether he can give an approximate date upon which this claim will be heard?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I have been asked to reply. The claim by Walton Motors, Limited, in respect of engine design and compensation for losses on contracts was put forward to the Ministry of Munitions, and not to the Royal Commission, in June, 1919. The preliminary investigation showed that many of the patents on which the claim was based had not been granted. After considerable correspondence between the Ministry of Munitions and the Company, the claim was divided, and that part of the claim which referred to compensation was handed over to the Ministry of Munitions Departmental Contracts Committee. The claim in respect of engine design falls within the scope of the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors, and the claimants on 20th March, 1920, were referred to that2462W Commission. It is understood that the claim was presented to the Commission by the Company on 21st May, 1920; it amounts to £2,250,000. In view of its magnitude, this claim requires very careful and thorough exploration, but the Air Ministry's counter statement will be filed with as little delay as possible. The hearing by the Commission cannot take place until this has been done. I may add that the claimants are at liberty at all times to apply to the Royal Commission for a date to be fixed for the delivery of this counter statement.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether he can state a date by which the Departmental Contracts Committee will have concluded their consideration of the claim submitted by the Walton Motors, Limited?
Owing to the nature of this claim, which is one of hardship, it cannot be considered until the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors have adjudicated upon the patents claim. When the Royal Commission make their award, the Departmental Contracts Committee will expedite the hearing of the hardship claim.