HC Deb 15 November 1917 vol 99 cc568-70
60. Colonel C. LOWTHER

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now announce any definite policy with regard to the adoption of reprisals against air attacks upon our unfortified towns, seeing that several air raids have been carried out with impunity upon London and the Eastern Coast since his announcement of the adoption of a policy of reprisals?


I can add nothing to, the previous statements on this subject.


Can the right hon.. Gentleman say why no reprisals have been undertaken on German towns, bridges, or forests as a direct answer to the two last, raids on London?


If the hon. and gallant Member will look at the newspaper reports, he will find that there has been air operations on German towns, but much depends upon the weather, and I think there is a danger that our airmen may undertake these operations at a time when they ought not to do so.


Will the right hon. Gentleman see that no airmen are withdrawn from more necessary work in order to carry out these raids?


I have already said many times that the Air Service is used as our advisers consider best.

88. Mr. FELL

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been directed to the number of cases of damage by raids to houses in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft which have not been settled; and if he will make inquiry into the case of No. 1, Marine Parade, Gorleston, where the ceilings were brought down four months ago and the damages were assessed at £60, and the amount has not been paid and the damages cannot be repaired because the Government surveyor will not agree to its being done, and loss and hardship is being caused by the unreasonable delay?


The attention of the Board of Trade has been called to various claims from Great Yarmouth in respect of damage by concussion, and these are being considered. Inquiry is being made as to the special case which is referred to in the question.

89. Mr. FELL

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will agree to disputes as to the amount of damages payable under the aircraft insurance scheme to be settled by an arbitrator to sit locally or by an action in the County Court instead of by a petition of right in the High Court; and if he will consider if one of these courses could be taken, at any rate, when the amount insured does not exceed £100?


Except at Great Yarmouth and neighbourhood, disputes between the insured and the assessors have been of rare occurrence, and have been settled in almost every case, after an opinion has been obtained from a second assessor, without further trouble. In the cases which the hon. Member has in mind the President of the Board of Trade would be prepared, in view of their special nature, to agree to these particular cases, if not otherwise settled, being referred to an assessor appointed by, and on behalf of, the Government, with the concurrence of the insured, on the understanding that the insured accept the assessor's opinion as final.


The assessor is to act as arbitrator?


Yes, and his decision will be final.