HC Deb 10 July 1924 vol 175 cc2493-4W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the awards made to officers and seamen of the Mercantile Marine in respect of claims made by or on account of those captured by the enemy during the late War have only been met to the extent of about two-fifths of the sums claimed; whether these awards are final; and, if so, whether he will agree to reconsider these claims?


As to the first part of the question, the proportion of the assessed damage recommended to be paid by the Royal Commission depended on the nature and amount of the damage sustained, the assessment being scaled down in the manner described in paragraph 26 of the First Report of the Commission. As to the second and last parts of the question, the awards of the Commission are final and claims cannot be reconsidered.


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will inform the House how many claims made by persons resident in the United Kingdom, for compensation for damage caused by enemy action in the late War have been rejected; how many of such claims have been rejected on the ground that the owners of damaged property had failed to take out an insurance on the property against damage by enemy aircraft; and whether the Government are now willing to ensure reasonable compensation to all persons whose property suffered damage in the United Kingdom by enemy aircraft action in the late War?


As to the first part of the question, claims are registered in accordance with the enemy action complained of and the nature of the injury suffered and not in accordance with the geographical areas, and I am consequently unable to give the information desired. The total number of claims from all parts of the world rejected by the Royal Commission was 9,410. As to the second part of the question, the number is 518. As to the last part of the question, I would refer to the answer given by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 5th May to the hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. Millar).


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount which has been paid as compensation for suffering and damage owing to enemy action during the War; and what is the amount received to date from Germany to meet the total British claims under that heading?


The amount which has been allocated by the Government to ex gratin grants to individuals in respect of compensation for suffering and damage by enemy action is £5,300,000, including £300,000 for belated claims; of this amount £4,318,385 has been paid to date. As regards the second part of the question, I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. Individual British subjects have not, and never have had, any claim against Germany under the Reparation Clauses of the Treaty, and it is impossible to relate items of private damages to the total reparation payments made by Germany.