HC Deb 05 March 1940 vol 358 cc183-4
24. Sir Frank Sanderson

asked the President of the Board of Trade the balance standing to the credit of the insurance fund; and whether he will agree to suspend for a limited period the collection of premiums for the compulsory insurance of stocks against war risks, in view of the cash resources of many industries being seriously depleted by taxation and other demands?

Sir A. Duncan

The balance to the credit of the War Risks (Commodities) Insurance Fund on 4th March, 1940, was £18,620,014. The Board of Trade have made an Order maintaining the premium for the period from 3rd March to 2nd June, 1940, at the rate of 5s. per cent. per month, the rate to which it was reduced for the period which has just passed. In view of the increased risk of serious air raids during the period on which we are now entering, I do not consider that any further reduction would be advisable at present; but I can assure the hon. Member that the matter will be considered afresh in the light of the experience gained in the next two or three months.

Sir F. Sanderson

Does not my right hon. Friend consider that the total premiums which have accrued will be sufficient to meet present requirements; and will he not consider altering the period of collection, and providing that no fresh premiums shall be demanded until 1st September?

Sir A. Duncan

The balance in hand and the risk which is likely are both questions which must, of course, be taken into account, as well as the incidence on industry. All those questions will be kept under review?

Mr. Mander

Have any claims been made yet?

Sir A. Duncan

No substantial claims have been paid yet.