§ 8. Lord APSLEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether an opportunity will be afforded, and under what Vote, for the discussion of the £300,000 which it is proposed to allocate as a final settlement of all the belated claims received by the Reparations Claims Department?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. William Graham)
A Supplementary Estimate for grants for Compensation for Damage by Enemy Action (Unclassified Services Vote 9) will be introduced in due course.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I cannot say off-hand, but I hope there will be a discussion of the Vote. I think on the whole there will be.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
Have the Government made up their mind that the Vote is not to exceed £300,000?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
Yes. If the hon. and gallant Member will read the reply I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. Duncan Millar), he will see that I indicated the position of the Government.
§ 12. Sir LEONARD LYLE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, to relieve the anxiety of many poor claimants, he can state how soon after the receipt of the final claims the available funds will be allocated to those belated claims by the Reparation Claims Department?
Having regard to the uncertainty as to the total number of belated claims which may have been received by the 1st June, I regret that it is not possible to fix a date when distribution can begin.
§ Sir L. LYLE
Can the right hon. Gentleman give an approximate date, as many of these people have been waiting for a very long time?
§ 54. Mr. H. H. SPENCER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reference to the sum of £5,000,000 set aside for civilian damages by enemy action, whether he can stat-o the total number of the staff employed in settling claims, the weekly cost, and the time he expects the staff to be employed?
I am asked to reply. The staff employed in the Reparation Claims Department numbers 214. The salaries amount to about £850 a week. Apart from a comparatively small number of cases in which special difficulties arise, it is hoped that all claims against the £5,000,000 will be paid by the end of this month. It will, however, be necessary to retain the staff to deal with belated claims.
§ Sir H. CROFT
Is this £5,000,000 regarded as the final sum to be paid, and 203 are there not other extraordinary cases of hardship to be met where the compensation has been absolutely inadequate?
As I have said, there are no funds available for that purpose. There is a grant of £300,000 for the belated claims, which are not the same as those to which the £5,000,000 relates.
I could not say, and I do not think that information could be ascertained at all. The establishment is a continuing charge, and it is not possible to assume how much of their work has been due to this particular matter.
§ Mr. STURROCK
Is it necessary to keep up this great establishment for the administration of this sum?