HC Deb 14 October 1915 vol 74 cc1454-5
29. Mr. WILES

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the rate of insurance against aircraft of 5s. charged to private residents in small tenements when situated over shops; and whether, having regard to this higher rate falling heavily upon numbers of families throughout London with small incomes, he will arrange that such tenements, when unconnected with the shops below, shall be charged the ordinary private dwelling-house premium of 2s.?


The rate of 2s. is confined to private dwelling houses and buildings in which no trade or manufacture is carried on. In the case of other buildings it is consdered that the risk is greater and a higher premium has to be charged. I fear that at this stage it would not be possible to modify the rates or to differentiate between cases in which tenements over shops are or are not connected with the shops below.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether an air raid is an act of war? Why should we insure at all?


The Government has decided that all cases of loss caused by air raid can be provided for under the insurance scheme, and by that we must abide.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that many poor people have already suffered loss of property? Are they to be left to their own resources?


Some of the cases earlier in the War have already been dealt with by the Commission presided over by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, but after the Government decided that they would have an insurance scheme that was made as public as possible and I believe everyone has had an opportunity of knowing how cheaply insurance can be effected.


Would it not be possible to discriminate in favour of shops rated at a very low value?


will consider that.