asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has made for the compensation of private owners for the removal, where sanctioned, of Civil Defence structures still existing on private land which was formerly requisitioned.
The amount of compensation is settled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Acts of Parliament, and is paid to the owner by the local authority concerned.
Is it not extremely unfair that this burden should fall on the local authorities, especially those that bore the brunt of the damage during the war and had most of these installations on private land? In cases where the land was taken over by agreement with the owner the Home Secretary managed to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer to bear the cost, but where land was requisitioned he did not bear the cost. Is that not unfair?
This is a very long and complicated subject, but if the hon. Member has any particular point in mind I will look into it and direct his attention to the relevant Act.
Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that the rates of compensation are satisfactory and fair?
They are in accordance with the Acts of Parliament. There is no discretion on the part of the district valuer.