HC Deb 17 October 1939 vol 352 cc680-1
55. Major Milner

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to publish the report of the Weir Committee on the insurance of real property against war risks and to indicate the intentions of the Government thereon?

Sir J. Simon

Yes, Sir. The gentlemen who were called into conference on this subject by my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and who conducted their inquiry as a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Weir, have now reported and copies of their report will be available as a White Paper in the Vote Office immediately after Questions. I should like to express the obligation of His Majesty's Government to Lord Weir and to his colleagues for the thoroughness and also, in view of the many calls which the outbreak of war must have made on them, for the speed with which they have conducted their inquiry into a subject of very great importance and of much complexity. I am sure this feeling will be shared by all who are; interested in the problem with which they deal. The Government have carefully considered Lord Weir's report, which will be found in the main to confirm the conclusions at which we had previously arrived, and I am arranging that a statement of the Government's attitude to the contents and proposals of the report will be included in the White Paper so that the whole matter may be set out in a single document.

Major Milner

Would the right hon. Gentleman not give the House some indication of the general proposals, or at least indicate the date on which they will come into force?

Sir J. Simon

I think we ought to wait for another 14 minutes.

Mr. Kirkwood

Does this report by Lord Weir's Committee make any attempt to deal with the question of human life lost in air raids, or with the individuals who may be maimed as a result of air raids? Is nothing but property to be dealt with here, and to be compensated for, if destroyed?

Sir J. Simon

The hon. Gentleman, as I remember well, has raised this point with me more than once in earlier questions. I always had in mind that provision about human life is, at least, as important, but he will remember that announcements have already been made about that. This particular inquiry was an inquiry about fixed property.