Malicious Injuries, Northern Ireland.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 11th May 1922.

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Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Belfast Falls

43.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the amount that has been allocated for the payment of damages for malicious injuries in the area of Northern Ireland; and whether a Commission similar to that which has been appointed for Southern Ireland will be appointed to deal with this matter?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

I have been asked to answer this question. The Government of Northern Ireland have undertaken to deal with this matter, and the Imperial Government has agreed to contribute the sum of £1,500,000 towards the cost. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. A Commission is not necessary in Northern Ireland because the vast majority, if not all the cases were defended, and no question of reviewing decrees, therefore, arises.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Belfast Falls

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a large number of claimants for compensation for damage are greatly displeased with their awards, and as those awards are being reconsidered in Southern Ireland, is it not possible that they could be reconsidered in Northern Ireland by a Commission appointed upon the same lines as the Commission for Southern Ireland?

Photo of Mr Robert Sharman-Crawford Mr Robert Sharman-Crawford , Down Mid

Is it not a fact that the Commission is entirely for Southern Ireland, and not for Northern Ireland? Is it not a fact—that I think I can attest from my own personal knowledge—that claims in the Northern area have been contested by the County Councils and other bodies responsible, while in the Southern area they have not been contested by any bodies?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Now that both North and South have got Home Rule, how much longer is the British taxpayer to be asked to find money for both North and South?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

It is impossible, for me to state how long this House will be asked to assist the settlement of Ireland—[An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"]—by financial grants. As to the point raised by the hon. Member for the Falls Division of Belfast (Mr. Devlin) it is quite true that most of the claimants in Ireland——

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Belfast Falls

Belfast we are talking about, not Ireland.

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

It is quite true that most of the applicants in the Northern area may be dissatisfied with the awards granted by the County Court Judges, but in Northern Ireland every applicant has an open Court of Appeal to a judicial tribunal, and the decision is given in accordance to the law which cannot be disturbed by this House or any other tribunal.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Belfast Falls

As I believe this grant of a million and a half to Northern Government to be an entirely scandalous transaction may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether we shall have an opportunity of discussing it?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

I cannot give a date, but I am certain there will be some Estimate before long on which the whole matter can be raised.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

Is this sum included in the main Estimate for the year?

Photo of Sir Maurice Dockrell Sir Maurice Dockrell , Dublin Rathmines

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman——

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

Other questions had better be put down.