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Malicious Injuries (Awards)

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 22 June 1922

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he can give to date the total number of awards for compensation made by Lord Shaw's Commission; and will he give the total cash award in respect of damage inflicted at the instance of British military autho- rities, and also in respect of damage inflicted at the instance of competent authorities of the Irish Republican Army?

The total number of the recommendations made by the Commission to date is seven. These have been representative cases taken with a view to determining certain principles which it is hoped will enable the Commission to deal expeditiously with a large proportion of the cases which are awaiting their decision. I am not in a position to furnish the information asked for in the latter part of the question, and I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by calling for such particulars at this stage of the Commission's labours.

When will the time arrive when we shall know exactly what we have to pay for the proceedings of the Government agents in Ireland during the late administration?

I am certain it will not be possible for any money to be finally disbursed without the House of Commons knowing it.

But in reply to questions put, will the right hon. Gentleman state clearly what is the bill for this administration?

I certainly have no reason to conceal any of the facts that may be brought to light. I understand that the hon. and gallant Gentleman thinks there is something very prejudicial—

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider it is spiteful curiosity to inquire what the taxpayer has got to pay as the result of the right hon. Gentleman's administration?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we might have protected ourselves against a considerable amount of this, if the suggestion made a year ago, or a year and a half ago, had been adopted, that we should have an insurance fund in respect of losses in Ireland similar to the one adopted in England against air-raids?

Can my right hon. Friend say when the awards made by Lord Shaw's Commission will be paid?

I hope that all these awards will be promptly paid by the Provisional Government.