HC Deb 10 June 1941 vol 372 cc15-6
21. Sir Leonard Lyle

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in order to obviate delay, expense, duplication and overtopping, he will arrange for claims due in respect of requisitioned premises, and all other claims against his Department, to be dealt with by the Claims Commission, and extend its authority accordingly, so that all claimants of the public will have one section of the War Department to approach in respect of all claims alleged?

Captain Margesson

The assessment of compensation for land and buildings under the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, is a clearly defined task, and, when the Claims Commission was set up, it was decided that it would be more convenient if this work were left to the permanent organisation responsible for the administration of War Department lands, whose staff had been largely increased for this purpose. I think the balance of advantage lies in maintaining that decision. To do otherwise would, apart from anything else, result in temporary dislocation of machinery and delay in settlement of claims. Undoubtedly there are borderline cases, but I have reason to believe that delay, duplication and overlapping are infrequent.

Sir L. Lyle

What is the objection to using the machinery which is already available?

Captain Margesson

There is no objection to that at all, but the question was very carefully gone into to see how the public could be best served, and it was decided that these arrangements resulted in the greatest expedition.