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Shot Civilian's Dependants (Aid)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 8 May 1947

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6.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what official means exist of providing for the dependants in necessitous circumstances of citizens who may have been gravely injured or lost their lives in going to the assistance of the law by endeavouring to detain criminals in the act of committing, or immediately after the commission of, a crime.

8.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what compensation will be paid to the widow of Mr. de Antiquis who was killed whilst assisting the police, and out of what Department fund.

13.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements exist for granting compensation to members of the public injured when assisting the course of justice or to their dependants if fatal injuries are sustained.

14.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any provision exists for compensating out of public funds the widow and children of Mr. Alec de Antiquis, who was killed while carrying out his duties as a citizen in an exemplary manner, and, if not, whether he will make special provision for them.

18.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is considering making some recognition to the widow and dependants of Mr. Alec de Antiquis, who was killed while attempting to prevent the escape of three gunmen in the West End of London on 28th April, if necessary, by asking this House to award a special grant to the widow and six children of this gallant citizen

I am sure the House would desire me to express their sympathy with the wife and orphans of this man, who lost his life voluntarily discharging the duties of a good citizen. The question of making an appropriate grant from the Metropolitan Police Fund is receiving my sympathetic consideration.

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his answer, which I am sure will be appreciated, may I ask him whether he will agree that it would be very undesirable if the sole means of compensating the dependants of loyal and law abiding citizens were to be private benevolence?

Yes, Sir. I hoped the final sentence of my answer would indicate that I intend to give practical recognition of my views on that point, and I hope I shall have the general support of the House.

In a case of this description, is not such a man assisting to combat the enemy as much as a man in the field of battle, and will it not be more dignified to see that in these circumstances consideration is given to the granting of a pension?

I must have regard to what my statutory powers in the matter may be. I hope that when the House hears what I propose, they will feel that I have given adequate recognition to what this man has done. If I may be allowed to say so, I hope I shall be able to put the widow and children in a position which is no worse than that in which they would have been had the man survived. The House will appreciate that the machinery for doing these very desirable things is sometimes very difficult, in view of statutory limitations, but I will ask the House to empower me to do the right thing if, in fact, the Statutes at the moment prevent me.

While endorsing entirely what the right hon. Gentleman has said and the act which he proposes, may I ask him to be good enough to inform the House when he has come to a conclusion as to what action he can take?

In view of the fact that we have had a case of a similar nature in the City of Glasgow, would any action recommended by my right hon. Friend in the present case be directed to the attention of the Secretary of State for Scotland?

If my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State communicates with me, I will see that he and I walk in step in this matter.