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War Damage Claim, Plymouth

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 19 July 1949

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41.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will cause inquiries to be made into why the War Damage Commission have refused to accept the claim for compensation submitted on behalf of Mr. W. J. George, of 5, Stokes Lane, New Street, Barbicon, Plymouth, in view of the fact that the claim is solely concerned with the replacement by clear glass of the translucent glass used for the repair of windows when first aid repairs were done to this property by the local authority during the war and of the fact that there is no conflict of evidence on this point.

I regret that my right hon. and learned Friend cannot undertake to answer Questions about individual war damage cases. I am told by the Commission that they have already informed my hon. Friend of the reasons for their decision.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the Debate on 18th March he made this statement:

"… if the claims are and can be shown to be war damage claims, quite obviously under the law they should be accepted."?—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th March, 1949; Vol. 462, c. 2523.]
There is no doubt whatever that this is a legitimate war damage claim, and that is not denied by the War Damage Commission, If the Commission is not, therefore, prepared to recognise this claim, will the Treasury take the step of refunding to my constituent the war damage contributions which he made during the war?

Unfortunately, the final decision must rest with the War Damage Commission. It is a statutory body, and an independent body at that. I can do no more than see that the War Damage Commission is made aware of what my hon. Friend has now said.

Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether the same kind of principles are going to be applied in the case of insurance if it is nationalised?

It is obvious that if the War Damage Commission is responsible for refusing the claim, the Treasury should reimburse my constituent for his war damage contribution, and under the circumstances I ask that that should be done.