Malicious Injuries Commission.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 13th July 1922.

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Colonel NEWMAN:

6.

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether, in view of the fact that on the decisions arrived at in some 10 cases by Lord Shaw's Commission the findings of the Commission in many thousands of other cases will be largely based, he is able to say that the first and second interim Reports of the Commission will be made available for Members of this House and for the general public; and will he say was there any verbatim Report of the proceedings of the Commission taken?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I am in communication with the Commission regarding this matter, and I hope to be able to reply to the hon. and gallant Member at a later date.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Should I put down a question for next Monday?

Colonel NEWMAN:

7.

asked the Chief Secretary whether the payments to be made on the awards for malicious and criminal injury when re-assessed by Lord Shaw's Commission will be made pari passu by the Governments of each country; and whether, after the first payment made by the Government of Great Britain, no further payment will be made until the Government of Southern Ireland has made a payment of at least a similar amount?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to a supplementary question addressed to me on the 11th instant by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Are these payments to be made pari passu, one Government making one payment and another another at the same time, or is one Government to make all the payments in the first instance?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

All payments in the first instance ought to be made by the Provisional Government. If the Provisional Government is not able to make the payments, then we shall have to consider whether some of the money which would in any case be paid by us ought not to be devoted in the first instance to meeting, in part at any rate, the cases of those who obtain decrees from the Commission.

Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

What is to be done by persons who have not got decrees?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I did say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was willing to consider special cases in regard to persons who are in great distress.

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

What about persons who have got awards in undefended cases, whose awards have not been considered by the Commission?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I would like to have notice.

Colonel NEWMAN:

9.

asked the Chief Secretary whether, to expedite the rehearing of awards made under the Malicious Injuries (Ireland) Act, he will press for the appointment of sub-commissions to sit at convenient centres in Southern Ireland, and each to consist of one member nominated by the British Government, one member nominated by the Provisional Government, and as Chairman a member or ex-member of the British Bar, selected by the Chairman of the present Commission from a list submitted to him?

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

40.

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the President of Lord Shaw's Commission for awarding compensation for malicious injuries in Ireland has gone to the United States; whether he can state when the President may be expected to return and resume his duties on that Commission: and, having regard to the large number and extreme urgency of the cases to be investigated, what steps he proposes to take during the absence of the President of the Commission to ensure that the trial of these cases shall be continued?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The Chairman of the Commission is about to go to the United States, and will be absent for approximately two months. The Commission have, however, made good progress in the appointment of investigators and assessors in accordance with their terms of reference, and it is hoped that these appointments will be completed before the departure of the Chairman. During his absence the Commission will of course continue in existence with undiminished powers; and there is therefore no reason to suppose that any delay in the decision of cases will be occasioned by his absence; on the contrary, it is to be anticipated that the assistance of the investigators and assessors referred to will very greatly expedite the despatch of the work of the Commission. No grounds exist, therefore, for the taking of any special steps during the absence of the Chairman, nor, so far as can be anticipated, for the suggested appointment of sub-commissions.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Will those investigators take the cases singly or in groups?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The matter rests with the Commission, but if a question be put down, I may be able to give an explanation.

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

Has the right hon. Gentleman any idea as to how long these inquiries will take?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have no idea at all. It will take a long time as there is a great number of cases.

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

Are these unfortunate people to remain penniless while inquiries are proceeding?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

If my Noble Friend had paid attention to my former replies he would not have asked that question.

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

I have heard the replies. Is he aware that there are a great many men who are penniless and cannot get satisfaction from the Government in spite of what is said in this House?

Photo of Mr Rupert Gwynne Mr Rupert Gwynne , Eastbourne

How long will Lord Shaw be in America?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have already answered that question.

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

Do I understand that the awards will continue to be made by this Commission during the absence of Lord Shaw in America?