HC Deb 14 June 1945 vol 411 cc1815-6W
Mr. Bartlett

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what remedy rests with British subjects whose property is damaged by men in the U.S. forces and who are offered inadequate compensation by the Foreign Claims Commission of the U.S. Army.

Lord Dunglass

As the hon. Member will see from my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's statement circulated in the Official Report on 30th March, 1944, civil claims in tort against members of the United States forces in the United Kingdom are now by mutual agreement investigated and settled by His Majesty's Government through the British Claims Commission on behalf of the United States Government as a matter of reciprocal aid, except claims against members of the United States forces who were not on duty at the time of the incident in respect of which a claim is made, since the agreement does not provide for payment of "off-duty" claims by His Majesty's Government.

I assume therefore that the hon. Member's Question refers to "off-duty" claims against members of the United States forces, in respect of which the United States Foreign Claims Commission is empowered to award compensation. I need hardly say that all claims, especially off-duty claims, are subject to strict scrutiny, and compensation may be found inadequate by claimants. The decisions of the United States Foreign Claims Commission are final, and there is no authority in the European Theatre of operations of the United States Army to whom an appeal for reconsideration can be made; representations may, however, be made through the diplomatic channel in cases where the circumstances appear to warrant it.