HC Deb 24 February 1926 vol 192 cc550-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that in July, 1925, action was taken against the driver of a motor lorry, on behalf of a cyclist whom he had knocked down and injured; that a judgment was subsequently given in the High Court against the driver for £131 18s. 10d.; that the driver having pleaded as a poor person, although represented by Treasury solicitor and counsel, only nominal costs were allowed; that the Treasury subsequently paid the damage awarded of £131 18s. 10d., but refused to be if responsible for more than £14 6s. 6d. towards the costs, which exceeded £88; and whether he proposes to take any further steps in the matter in respect to the injured cyclist concerned?


The soldier who was driving the lorry when the accident occurred was an unauthorised passenger on the vehicle; he had taken the wheel in an emergency. After careful consideration, the War Department decided that they could not accept responsibility for the defence, and the soldier was not represented by the Treasury Solicitor in the proceedings taken against him by the cyclist. The Department do not regard the case as one in which, if they had been private employers, the plaintiff could have sued them instead of the soldier. They have paid the damages and costs awarded against the defendant purely as an act of grace; it is not proposed to take any further steps in the matter.