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Storm Damage And Compensation

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a statement up-to-date of the amount of direct damage done in Scotland by the storm of 31st January, 1953; and what progress has been made in compensating persons who are to be, but have not yet been, compensated.

The House has already been informed about the severe damage to woodlands. Apart from the Government assistance already announced, it has been agreed that the Lord Mayor's Fund should help those who have lost timber in the windblow.

Damage to public services was of the order of £430,000, of which it is estimated that £387,000 will fall on Government funds. It is not possible to assess the total damage to private property, but claims on the Lord Mayor's Fund—apart from those in respect of damage to woodlands —may amount to some £300,000. Of the claims so far received, about 95 per cent, have been passed for payment.

Does the Secretary of State not realise that this has an important bearing upon the amount of food produced by some of the most productive land in Scotland, that it deserves constructive consideration from that aspect, and what is he doing to restore the food supply?

I can assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that everything possible is being done and will be done, but timber, of course, is not on arable land and fallen timber does not affect the food supply.