HC Deb 07 October 1941 vol 374 cc834-5
46. Mr. Cecil Wilson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, in spite of repeated assurances that have been given by the Government in respect of the early payment of cost-of-works compensation under the War Damage Act, many house owners are unable to have their repairs undertaken by builders owing to the apparent persistence of the impression that such compensation will only be paid after the war; and will he consider what further steps can be taken towards informing everyone concerned of the correct position with a view to encouraging the prompt carrying out of necessary repairs?

Sir K. Wood

I am not aware that the position is as stated. The War Damage Commission inform me that they are in touch with organisations representing building trade employers and building societies and are satisfied that the conditions of payment generally are well understood, particularly now that cost-of-works payments are being made in considerable numbers. The Commission make available an explanatory pamphlet to everyone who has suffered war damage, and this pamphlet states that cost-of-works payments will be made after the completion of the work as soon as the Commission has satisfied itself that the cost of the work is reasonable. The Commission will be glad to send a copy to anyone desiring an authoritative statement on the position.

Mr. Bellenger

Is it necessary to get the permission of the War Damage Commission before such works are undertaken, or can the applicant get the work done and then send in a bill?

Sir K. Wood

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that Question on the Order Paper.

Major Milner

As there is a good deal of dissatisfaction about delay in making payments in these cases, could not payments be expedited?

Sir K. Wood

I will communicate the hon. and gallant Member's Question to the Chairman. A very large number of payments have been made.

Brigadier-General Clifton Brown

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of these claims have been in for over a year and have not been paid? If he wants to get a good name for the Government paying their debts, will he look into this matter?

Sir K. Wood

I think the Government have a very good name in that respect.

48. Mr. Tinker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that hardship is caused to many old age pensioners, who own the house they live in, being called upon to pay the war damage to property contribution; and will he consider whether some alleviation can be made to this class of case?

Sir K. Wood

I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to similar Questions asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Abertillery (Mr. Daggar) on 5th August, and by my hon. Friend the Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on 7th August.

Mr. Tinker

Would my right hon. Friend mind telling we what was in those replies?

Sir K. Wood

Perhaps my hon. Friend will look at them.