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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 5 Feb 1941

Vol. 81 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Compensation for Air-Raid Damage.

Mr. Byrne

asked the Minister for Finance if he is in a position to state if the Government propose to compensate those who suffered loss as a result of the recent bombings.

asked the Minister for Finance whether, in view of the recent air raids, there is any fund available from which compensation to life or property can be made; whether the question of compensation depends on the responsible country acknowledging liability, and agreeing to pay for the injury caused by air raids; whether, also, damage to decoration, electrical wiring, fittings, carpets, linoleum and furniture is included in the compensation referred to in the recent Government statement.

I propose to answer Questions 3 and 4 together. I would refer the Deputies to the public notice issued on the 11th January, 1941, that the Government takes responsibility for making good the damage caused by the recent dropping of bombs on this country. That responsibility is assumed irrespective of the outcome of representations to any external Government. In due course, the Dáil will be asked to make the necessary financial provision. Conditions and procedure have yet to be settled but, probably, such items as those mentioned by Deputy Dockrell will be covered.

Are they covered at the present time?

Nothing is covered at the present time.

I should like to submit to the Minister that the Dáil has undertaken a liability before we have been asked to assume the financial responsibility. Is that a fact?

Acting as spokesman of the Government and in the Government's name I took responsibility for making good certain damage caused by the dropping of bombs.

Is the expenditure going to fall on the local authorities or on the country as a whole?

Wait and see.

That is not an answer. I asked what fund this damage will come under.

I propose to bring the matter before the Dáil.

Is it still under discussion, whether it is the local authorities or the National Exchequer will bear the burden?

I will explain all that when the matter comes before the Dáil.

Mr. Byrne

Surely the Minister does not expect that Dublin ratepayers will be called upon to pay for any damage. It should really be a national matter and not one for any area which has suffered from bombing.

Can the Minister say when he expects to be able to make a statement about it?

It is rather an intricate matter, and it will probably take a month or two to get the Bill drafted.

Good, but at this stage, I think we ought to know whether it will be a local or a national matter.

There will be legislation?