HC Deb 28 September 1915 vol 74 cc722-4
49. Mr. GRANT

asked if it is the intention of the Government to introduce legislation which may determine the doubt which exists as to the incidence of liability to repair or rebuild leasehold premises damaged or occasioned by the agency of hostile aircraft, having regard to the fact that in most cases war risks are not mentioned in leases, and that both lessors and lessees are in many cases taking out policies under the Government insurance scheme?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)

As I have already stated, I doubt the desirability of introducing legislation to determine the incidence of the risk of damage by aircraft, bombardment, or other dangers peculiar to the War.


Can the right hon. Gentleman express any opinion with regard to this important matter?


No, Sir. I should hesitate to do that, because I believe it is a matter that the legal authorities ought to express an opinion upon.


As the Government have taken upon themselves the duties of an insurance company, is it not their duty to give some expression of opinion with regard to this matter?


The statement that the Government is acting as an insurance company would be news to me. It would also be news to me that insurance companies give legal advice to their customers free of cost.

65. Mr. WATT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether among the insurance companies which his Department has chosen to do the insurance work against air risks for damage by aeroplanes and otherwise is a company called the General Accident Insurance Corporation, with its headquarters at Perth; if so, is he aware that that company has as a condition to all its other accident policies a clause enabling it in the case of any dispute as to a claim to appoint, after a certain number of days from the claim arising, a single arbiter who has full power to dictate the terms of settlement, that delays occur under arbiters appointed by this company of as much as two years without any decision being given; will he say whether this clause is a condition of the policies of air risks undertaken for his Department; and, if so, what provision he is making against delays in settling claims that may arise?


The General Accident Insurance Corporation has been authorised to issue policies on behalf of the Government under the Government Aircraft Insurance Scheme. The policies so issued must be in the form prescribed by the Government scheme, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

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