HC Deb 25 July 1939 vol 350 c1246
52. Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Committee which is being set up to consider the risk to fixed property in case of war will also consider the risk of damage to house property and furniture, etc., by refugees; and, if not, what steps will be taken to assess such damage and award compensation?

Sir J. Simon

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the latter part, the Government accept the principle that householders, on whom persons evacuated under the official scheme are billeted, should be able to make claims in due course for any substantial damage to their premises. It is anticipated that such cases will be of rare occurrence, and it is not considered necessary, at any rate at present, to establish any special machinery for assessment.

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

My right hon. Friend thinks that this will be of rare occurrence, but does not he realise that you cannot put a dozen or more children—even the best-behaved children in the world—into a house which is not prepared for them without their doing considerable damage?

Mr. Kirkwood

Does this mean that those whose property is damaged will get the full value of the property, when the right hon. Gentleman told me, in answer to a question, that if it happens to a human being there will be compensation just the same as in the case of a soldier who loses his life in war? That means that property is more valuable than a human being.