HC Deb 16 May 1939 vol 347 cc1176-7
27. Mr. Doland

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in the position to inform the House of the result of his examination of the question of compensation for loss or damage to stocks held by the retail trade arising from enemy action; and, in particular whether he can now give a definition of essential commodities?

Mr. Stanley

I cannot at present add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 31st January, except to say that considerable progress has been made with the preparation of the scheme to which he referred.

52. Mr. Radford

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a property association has formed a war risks mutual society, which is already providing limited cover to property worth about £70,000,000; and has he any further statement to make on this subject?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

I am aware of a case of the kind mentioned by my hon. Friend although I have no detailed information as to the society's operations. The Government have undertaken no liability to the society or to its members.

Mr. Radford

I wanted to know whether my right hon. Friend would make any further statement about the Government undertaking responsibility to the property owner, even if it was only partial cover?

Sir J. Simon

The considerations which I have previously mentioned still apply. If my hon. Friend will refresh his memory, he will find that I made quite a definite statement about partial cover.

Mr. Holdsworth

Will my right hon. Friend reconsider his decision? There are very grave doubts about the effect of this on building schemes?

Sir J. Simon

The circumstances to be considered have not changed.

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