HC Deb 04 August 1942 vol 382 cc849-50
51. Sir W. Davison

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why persons whose houses or premises have been requisitioned by Government Departments or local authorities are not entitled to reclaim compensation in respect of any new materials in the way of black-out, floorcloths and other things which it is found necessary to purchase to make the new premises habitable, and where the old materials removed from their old premises are not suitable; and whether steps will be taken to, see that persons whose premises are requisitioned are adequately compensated for all losses they have thereby incurred, whether in respect of the purchase of necessary new materials or otherwise?

Sir K. Wood

As was explained to my hon. Friend in answer to his Question on 15th July, the expenses in respect of which compensation is payable are those laid down in the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939. Expenses reasonably incurred for the purpose of compliance with a direction to give vacant possession of the requisitioned premises can be met under Section 2 (1) (d) of the Act, and this provision has been construed as liberally as possible but it does not cover the purchase of new materials.

Sir W. Davison

Does not my right hon. Friend realise that in the case of defective black-out the police will not accept the excuse that the black-out removed from the old premises does not fit? Surely the unfortunate man who has had to give up his house and get a new black-out, often costing many pounds, ought to receive compensation?

Sir K. Wood

I regret the circumstances to which my hon. Friend refers, but he will see the position.