HC Deb 23 June 1942 vol 380 c1812
51. Sir Granville Gibson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered a resolution from the Association of British Chambers of Commerce regarding the present position under which the War Risks Insurance and War Damage Acts will not cover compensation for loss through the application of the scorched-earth policy, or in consequence of seizure by the enemy; and whether he proposes to issue an assurance that the obligations undertaken by the Government will be fully implemented, in view of the provisions of Section 80 of the War Damage Act, 1941?

Sir K. Wood

Yes, Sir. I have considered and replied to the resolution to which my hon. Friend refers. In answer to the latter part of the Question, I would refer him to the reply given on 12th May by the President of the Board of Trade to the hon. Member for the Lowestoft Division (Mr. Loftus). It is in the event of invasion that loss through the scorched-earth policy or in consequence of seizure by the enemy would occur. If that arises, the question raised will be reviewed by the Government with a view to determining what measures are appropriate and necessary,

Sir G. Gibson

Does not my right hon. Friend consider that it would only be fair treatment to anyone who suffers from the scorched-earth policy or from seizure by the enemy that he should have those losses covered under the War Risks Insurance and the War Damage Acts?

Sir K. Wood

That matter will be taken into consideration.

Mr. Garro Jones

Is it not then the intention of the Government to make any announcement until the proposed emergency arises, and, if so, is that altogether a wise and prudent policy to adopt? Might not an announcement affect the actions of some people?