Malicious Injuries Commission.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 6th July 1922.

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Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

10.

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been called to the slow progress that is being made by Lord Shaw's Commission in dealing with the cases submitted to it, many of which are cases of old standing and require immediate attention; whether he is aware that in a recent instance, where the applicant for compensation inquired when his case would be heard and what was the procedure, he was informed by the secretary to the Commission, on 16th June, that it was impossible to inform him, even approximately, when his case would come on or to indicate the necessary procedure: and whether it is possible to take steps to accelerate the hearing of these cases?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. In reply to the last part, the cases hitherto heard by the Commission have been selected by them with a view of settling large questions of principle the decisions on which will govern very numerous other cases, and it is to be hoped that as a result of these decisions and of the appointment of investigators and assessors in accordance with the Commission's terms of reference, the work of the Commission will be very greatly expedited. I am not aware of any additional means by which this end could be achieved.

Colonel NEWMAN:

11.

asked the Chief Secretary whether the second Report of the Commission to examine into Awards for Malicious Injuries in Ireland is ready for presentation to the Government; if so, whether this second Report will be also available for Members of the House who are not Members of the Government: and will he say when the first Report was presented and when it was made avail- able for Members of this House and the general public of Great Britain and of Ireland?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The terms of reference to the Commission empower them to present interim Reports from time to time to the British Treasury and to the Ministry of Finance of the Provisional Government. The first of such Reports has already been received, and it is understood that the second will; shortly be forthcoming. No decision has yet been come to with regard to the publication of these interim Reports, Colonel NEWMAN: Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that it will not be published in the Press, but only to Members of the Government?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

No, I said nothing of the sort. I said almost the direct contrary to that.

Colonel NEWMAN:

When shall we have this Report?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I said no decision has yet been reached whether the Report is to be published or not.

Colonel NEWMAN:

12.

asked the Chief Secretary whether, owing to the approaching absence of the chairman of the Commission appointed to investigate the awards made under the Malicious Injuries (Ireland) Act, investigators are to be appointed to proceed with the work of the Commission, and to endeavour to bring the parties together in various parts of the country; if so, will he say how many of these investigators will be appointed, by whom will they be appointed; by whom they will be paid, and will they all be Irishmen; and whether, having regard to the fact that the work of the Commission is to re-hear judgments already given in British courts of law, be will say who are the parties that are now to be brought together by these investigators?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I am in communication with the Commission in this matter, and should, therefore, be obliged if the hon. and gallant Member would postpone his question to a later date.