Bombed British Steamer (Compensation Claim)

Oral Answers to Questions — Germany – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th December 1954.

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Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton 12:00 am, 8th December 1954

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government of Guatemala have now settled the claim for compensation in respect of the bombing of the British steamer, ss. "Springfjord," on 27th June last.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

The preparation of the claim by the various interested parties is not yet complete, but as soon as it is ready Her Majesty's Government will raise the matter with the Guatemalan authorities.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Bearing in mind that compensation has already been paid in respect of the airliner which was shot down in the China Sea a month later than the date on which this ship was bombed, will the hon. Gentleman explain why, in South America, this Government appears to be so flabby in protecting British interests? Is he further aware that the Government have become very unpopular with Lloyds?

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

The answer is that we are not responsible for the preparation of the claim in this case. The parties who are responsible have to take some time on the preparation of a claim, and legal gentlemen do take a long time over these matters.