§ Sir J. PENNEFATHER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether 542W he is now in a position to state when payment will be made of the belated claims for suffering and damage by enemy action?543W
§ Mr. LUMLEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he is aware that numbers of belated claimants have not yet received any intimation about the success or failure of their claims for reparation from the Royal Commission; and whether he can name a date by which all the belated claims will have been settled;
(2) if he is aware that, in spite of the publicity afforded by his Department, there are still a number of persons who have genuine cases of damage done to them by enemy action whose claims have not been sent in in time, and therefore cannot be entertained; and whether, he will take the necessary steps to allow all genuine claims to be examined and to obtain from Parliament the funds necessary to settle these claims with justice?
§ Mr. G. WHITE
asked the President of the Board of Trade when it is expected that payments will be made in respect of reparation claims from the solatium of £300,000?
Every endeavour is being made to complete the examination of the claims within the period already indicated to the House, namely, by the end of the first week of November. When this work is completed, the payment of claims will be promptly begun. Where claimants are considered unlikely to have any valid claims against the fund, they are so informed; but it is not proposed to communicate with claimants whose claims have been admitted until the time for payment arrives. I regret that, as has already been frequently stated in this House, it is not possible to consider any claim which was not lodged with the Reparation Claims Department by the 1st June last.
§ Lieut.-Commander FLETCHER
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many belated claims of victims of enemy damage who are members of the mercantile marine yet remain unsatisfied?
I may point out that members of the mercantile marine who suffered by enemy action have already been compensated to an extent which will amount in all to something like 11,000,000 sterling. 22,057 merchant seamen, fishermen and dependants of such persons, have notified possible claims (in the belated category) under the Reparation Scheme, in addition to what they have already received; and to all of these the544W proper forms for furnishing particulars of damage have been sent. 2,920 of these persons have not yet returned the forms or furnished the particulars of damage necesary for such claims to be dealt with. Payment cannot be made in respect of belated reparation claims to any claimants till the claims have been examined. Every endeavour is being made to complete this work within the period already indicated to the House, namely, the end of the first week in November. When the work is completed the payment of claims will be promptly begun.
§ Sir R. ASKE
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether, in view of the fact that many seamen having claims for loss through enemy action have been unable to put in their claims to the Reparations Department by the 1st June owing to absence at sea or overseas when the notices to send in claims were published, the Board of Trade will allow an extended period for sending in claims in such cases;
(2) when it is proposed to make a distribution of the £300,000 in respect of the belated reparations claims; and whether he will expedite the distribution as much as possible in view of the distressed condition of many of the claimants who are seamen and dependants, of seamen?
I would refer to the answer which I am giving to-day to the hon. Members for the Kirkdale division of Liverpool (Sir J. Pennefather), Kingston-upon-Hull East (Mr. Lumley) and Birkenhead East (Mr. G. White), a copy of which I am sending to the hon. and learned Member. I would further point out that the War risks compensation scheme and the other special War schemes for merchant seamen have been charged with payment of compensation which will amount in all to something like £11,000,000, and that the £300,000 is merely in respect of belated claims under one of these schemes.