Malicious Injuries Commission.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons at on 20 July 1932.

Alert me about debates like this

Colonel NEWMAN:

23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the amount of public money involved, and of the fact that, in the opinion of Lord Shaw's Commission, its decisions will, when it is able to resume its work, be largely based on the decisions already arrived at in the 10 cases it has been able to hear, he is able to say that the first two interim Reports of the Commission will be made available for the House and the public?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I have as yet only received one Report from the Commission. This Report consists of two parts: the first raises certain questions of procedure, and one question of principle, which is not yet determined; the second consists of a Schedule setting out the names of the claimants in the cases decided, the amounts awarded by the Courts under the Malicions Injury Acts, and the amounts awarded by the Commission. It will be seen that the Report does not, as is suggested by the hon. and gallant Member, throw any light upon the principles which have actuated the Commission in reaching their decisions, and there would not appear to be any reason of public interest to justify the expense of publishing it.

Colonel NEWMAN:

The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the First Interim Report. Can he, say what has become of the Second Report?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I have only received one Report, and until I obtain the second, I am unable to answer the hon. and gallant Gentleman's question.

Photo of Sir Arthur Benn Sir Arthur Benn , Sheffield Park

Does the Schedule of the Report allocate liability for the damage done?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

We have not yet reached the point on which the hon. and gallant Member can make his score.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Will the right hon. Gentleman ask for the publication of the Second Report, and if I put another question down on this point will he answer it?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I must first of all receive the Second Report. After that, I will consider whether it should be published or not, and then, if the hon. and gallant Member will ask me a further question, I shall be able to tell him.

Colonel NEWMAN:

52.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that Lord Shaw's Commission has suspended its sittings for a period of at least two months, he will say if the work of the Commission is to be continued in some other shape during the interval; and is he aware of the added difficulty, and, in many cases of distress, which the total suspension of the work of the Commission will mean to those who hold decrees all granted in respect of damage done more than a year ago.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

In reply to the first part of the question I would refer the; hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to a question which he addressed to me on the 13th instant, in which I stated that during the absence of the Chairman of the Commission the Commission will, of course, continue in existence with undiminished powers. There is no foundation for the suggestion that the work of the Commission will be suspended.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Did not the right hon. Gentleman ask me to put this question down again? Is he aware that Lord Shaw has gone away, that the other Commissioners have gone away, that the Commission's house is shut up, and that nothing will be done for the next two months unless someone is appointed to carry on the work?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I am informed that the investigators have full powers to arrive at settlements, and they will arrive at settlements, and, those settlements having been ratified by the Commission on their return, the decrees will be complete. I understand that there will be no loss of time.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Is it a fact that investigators have been appointed, and, if so, who are they, who appointed them, how are they being paid, and how many are there?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

They were op-pointed by the Commission. As to their names and remuneration, when I know them myself I shall, if I am asked a question, be very glad to give an answer.

Photo of Lord  Scone Lord Scone , Perth

Is it not the case that the Lord Chancellor, in another place a few days ago, stated that two or even three Commissions would be set up, if necessary, in order to deal with these cases, and, further, that Sub-commissions were to be set up; and is the policy of the Government stated in this House or in another place?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I happened to have the opportunity of hearing what the Lord Chancellor said. He stated that if the machinery should be inadequate more Sub-commissions would be set up to deal with the outstanding volume of cases.

Colonel NEWMAN:

Have these investigators full power to decide what the awards shall be?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

That question has been answered.