HC Deb 19 May 1919 vol 116 cc27-8

asked the Prime Minister if under the terms of the Peace Treaty with Germany compensation in full is to be paid for all actual damage done to property by aircraft; if, under these circumstances, the Government will reconsider the whole question of the Government anti-aircraft insurance scheme and the premiums paid there under, and the profit that has accrued to the Government; and if, when the German compensation is paid, the whole of the premiums paid, less expenses, will be available for return to those who paid them?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

As regards the first part of the question I would refer my hon. Friend to Section VIII. of the Official Summary of the Peace Treaty which was published on 3rd May. The reply to the last two parts of the question is in the negative.


If damages are received from Germany in compensation for those aircraft raids will there be a distribution among the people who have suffered or will there be a return to them of premiums?


No, Sir. If I may judge by my own feelings as a citizen who had the privilege of paying a premium for Government insurance, I was very well satisfied with the bargain that the Government made, and I see no reason why I should now have my premium back after having escaped damage or having received compensation.


Would it not make insurance impossible if in cases where there did not happen to be any loss you returned the premiums?

56. Sir A. FELL

asked if the owners of properties which were damaged by air raids will be able to recover from the German indemnity money the full cost of the reinstatement of their property after giving credit for such reduced sums as they may have received from aircraft insurance or the Government in part compensation for such damages?


I do not think that my hon. Friend's suggestion is practicable.

57. Lieut.-Colonel CLAUDE LOWTHER

asked the Prime Minister whether a day can now be allocated, without prejudice to the Allied interests, for the discussion of the Peace terms by Members of this House?


No, Sir. In the opinion, not only of His Majesty's Government but of Allied Governments, such a discussion would be harmful.

Lieut.-Colonel LOWTHER

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that the peace terms will make provision for the payment of the whole of the British war debt, when and if the enemy countries are in a position to do so?


I am sure if my hon. and gallant Friend has read the summary, which in this respect is perfectly complete, he will have seen that it says exactly what is being done in that matter.

Lieut.-Colonel LOWTHER

The summary makes no provision.


May I ask whether it is to be understood that the whole of the cost of the War is to be borne by Germany and those who have fought with her?


I can only suggest to my hon. Friend that he should read the summary of the Treaty, where it is given in full.

Lieut.-Commander KEN WORTHY

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that at some future date we shall have an opportunity of discussing these peace terms?


I have already stated long ago that before the Treaty is ratified the assent of Parliament will be obtained. That is all that can be done.