HC Deb 14 December 1922 vol 159 cc3217-8W
Colonel NEWMAN

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in accordance with the Malicious Injuries (Ireland) Act, holders of decrees from the County Courts are receiving interest at 5 per cent, on their decrees from the date of award; and, if so, will he represent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, pending settlement, advances up to one-half of the award could be made to the holder of the decree and interest at 5 per cent, be charged to him for such advance without loss to the British taxpayer and to the immediate relief of the holder of the decree, who in many cases have been reduced to financial difficulty while awaiting payment from the Free State Government?


As the hon. and gallant Member is aware, decrees in respect of pre-truce injuries to property are subject to revision by the Compensation (Ireland) Commission, while, as regards post-truce injuries, the Free State Government is at present considering the best method of dealing with such decrees as have been given, in view of the fact that the local authorities, by whom alone the decrees are payable, are not in a position to pay them. In these circumstances, I could not ask my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to adopt the course suggested in the second part of the question; but, as the House has previously been informed, authority has already been given to the Irish Office to make advances, subject in certain cases to the consent of the Treasury, on the security of decrees, where real hardship has arisen owing to the delay in the payment of compensation. I am not aware that there is any need for an extension of this authority.