Oral Answers to Questions — Canadian Claims Commission, London.

– in the House of Commons on 27th January 1942.

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Captain Duncan:

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what arrangements he has now made with the Canadian Government to pay compensation for injuries to persons and damage to property in this country caused by the action of Canadian soldiers, for which the Canadian military authorities deny liability?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

The Canadian Government follows the same practice as the United Kingdom Government in dealing with claims arising from alleged negligence of service personnel while acting within the scope of their duties. These claims are dealt with by the Canadian Claims Commission in London. The Canadian Government are now considering the enlargement of the powers of the Commission to enable it to make compassionate payments in other circumstances similar to those in which it would be the practice of the United Kingdom Government to make such payments.

Captain Duncan:

Does my hon. Friend realise the hardships now, being inflicted upon British citizens in the case of Canadian soldiers causing injury to persons and damage to property where the Canadian military authorities deny liability; will he press upon the Canadian Government the necessity for urgent action, in view of the hardships concerned; and will it be possible to arrange with the Canadian Government a sort of "knock for knock" agreement, in view of the large number of British subjects training in Canada?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

A number of very hard cases have been brought to our notice, and we have been in touch with the Canadian Government and have referred these cases to them, and I very much hope that a solution may be found at an early date.