HC Deb 04 February 1941 vol 368 c801
45. Sir Robert Young

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that owner-occupiers of leasehold houses are served with a peremptory notice by the Metropolitan Water Board when the external water fittings are damaged by bomb explosions; that this is done without regard to the exceptional circumstances in which the damage occurred and the difficulty of procuring the requisite labour to get the repairs done within seven days; whether, in cases of this kind, the expenses of repairs will be recoverable as war damage; and whether he will consider allowing the Metropolitan Water Board, and other water-providing authorities, to use their own staffs for the repair of such external damage, and thus make one comprehensive claim for repayment instead of a multiplicity of small claims by individuals who, in some cases, may not have the money to pay the cost of repairs?

Sir K. Wood

My hon. Friend will appreciate that the first part of his Question is primarily a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, but I understand the Board are showing the utmost leniency in the circumstances to which my hon. Friend refers. A payment for making good war damage of this character could under the War Damage Bill be made to the person by whom the cost of executing the necessary works was incurred and I shall be glad to consider providing in the Treasury regulations that comprehensive claims may be made by water authorities carrying out such repairs, in all cases where this is practicable.

Sir R. Young

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that this will be very expensive to small tradesmen, if they are left to do this work, instead of one large undertaking doing it?