Enemy Action Claims (Seamen).

Oral Answers to Questions — Irish Free State. – in the House of Commons on 27th February 1929.

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Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

48.

asked the Prime Minister whether in view of the Government's decision to pay the claims of sufferers from the civil war in Ireland in full, he will now consider paying in full the claims of British seamen who suffered from illegal enemy action during the submarine campaign in the War; if he is aware that repeated pledges were given that these seamen of the mercantile marine would be compensated in full; and if he is aware that many of them have not received full compensation for their sufferings and losses?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave yesterday to the question put by the hon. Member for the Camlachie Division of Glasgow (Mr. Stephen).

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he said that an answer to the question would be given if notice was given, and can he say whether he is now going to reconsider the case of the seamen?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I have answered it. Notice has been given. It has been considered, and the question is fully covered by the answer that I gave yesterday.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

That will not satisfy the claims of these seamen, and cannot they be reopened?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

They are not going to be reopened.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Why should one set of claims be satisfied and not those of the British seamen?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Linlithgowshire

Although this matter is alleged to be closed, if the seamen send a deputation to the right hon. Gentlemen, will he reconsider the decision?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I cannot hold out any hope of reconsidering this decision, which has been maintained by successive Governments, including the Government of the party opposite.