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Industrial And Commercial Property (War Damage Payments)

Volume 393: debated on Thursday 4 November 1943

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the cost-of-works payment under the War Damage Act is equally applicable to factory and office property which has been completely destroyed by war damage where such property was erected after March, 1914, or where, in the case of properties erected before that date, the War Damage Commission is satisfied that the structure was practically as sound as at the date of building and that the design and lay-out were reasonably equal to similar buildings erected since 1914?

The recent Treasury Direction made under Section 20 of the War Damage Act, 1943, to which my hon. and gallant Friend evidently refers, was designed to further the requirements of the public interest as respects the provision of housing accommodation and was specifically restricted to dwelling-house property. At the same time, I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that it does not by any means follow that because an industrial or commercial property is completely destroyed a value payment and not a cost of works payment is appropriate. The classification depends upon the quality of the building destroyed and the value of the site on which it stood.