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Malicious Injuries (Compensation)

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the fact that a large number of Persons in Southern Ireland are still awaiting payment of the compensation awarded them by decrees obtained in the Courts as long ago in many cases as 1920, such decrees having been obtained after an appearance had been entered by the local authorities who were the defendants to the same; and whether, as this failure is a breach of the agreement arrived at between the British Government and the representatives of the Irish Free State who signed the Treaty, he will make representations to the Free State Government on the matter, asking that immediate payment may be made with a view to mitigating the hardships and privations which are being suffered by a large number of British subjects who have been driven from their homes and have so far received no compensation?

I have been asked to reply. I would remind the hon. Member that the fact that a claim for compensation was de- fended by a local authority does not take the case outside the terms of reference of the Compensation (Ireland) Commission unless the local authority in question was the county council or the county borough council in whose area the destruction or injury occurred; and I am not aware that any large number of persons who have obtained decrees which were defended within the meaning of the Commission's terms of reference are still awaiting payment. If the hon. Member, however, brings any such case to my notice, I shall be happy to make inquiry into it.

Will the Government agree that, if any of the arrests recently made under the Defence of the Realm Act are illegal, they will grant compensation for the wrong done to them?