§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)
By leave of the House I have to make a statement with regard to the Government scheme for insurance against aircraft and bombardment risks. On 21st June I appointed a Committee, consisting of the following gentlemen:—Mr. Frederick Huth Jackson, Sir Raymond Beck, Mr. Cuthbert Heath, Mr. Roger Owen, Sir Gerald Ryan, "to consider, without prejudice to the question of policy, whether a scheme can be devised to cover loss and damage by bombardment and aircraft in so far as such loss and damage are not covered by the terms of the ordinary fire insurance policy. Any scheme prepared must be on the basis of reasonable contribution being paid by the owners of property insured towards the cost of insurance." That Committee have now formulated a scheme which the Government are prepared to adopt. The Committee found that the best practicable method of dealing with the problem would be to invoke the assistance of the fire insurance companies. They accordingly approached a number of the large fire insurance companies, and as the result of their inquiries they based their report on the assumption that a sufficient number of the fire insurance companies would be prepared to act as agents for the Government in the issuing of policies and the collection of premiums, and in the initial proceedings in connection with loss assessments. They reported that it would also be necessary to establish a special State Insurance Office to supplement the work of the fire offices which act as agents for the Government.