asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any progress has been made in deciding the reparation claims of merchant seamen torpedoed at 858W sea; and if he can hold out any prospect of early payment?
These claims are being dealt with by the Royal Commission on Compensation for Suffering and Damage by Enemy Action, under the chairman-shop of Lord Sumner, which was appointed in August last. The sums received by this country from Germany up to the present are insufficient to cover the cost of the British Army of Occupation, which is a charge prior to reparation. But, in spite of this fact, the Government propose to ask Parliament to vote the sum of £5,000,000 to be paid in grants to individuals recommended by the Royal Commission. The Commission expect to be in a position to recommend certain grants in cases of special hardship up to a total of £100,000 during the current financial year, and a Supplementary Estimate for this amount is being presented. A further amount will be included in the Estimates for 1922/23.