HC Deb 03 March 1942 vol 378 cc515-6
51. Mr. Hannah

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the great difficulties in making repairs to bombed houses caused by the long delays in getting the necessary payments from the War Damage Commission; and will he arrange at least for such payments on account as will enable builders to proceed with most essential work?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

I understand that the War Damage Commission is aware of the fact that in certain districts builders are stating that they are unable to undertake repairs to damaged properties because of the delay in payment for repairs already carried out. The Commission which has not yet been in existence for a year, has already made a very large number of payments, including payments on account, and is taking all possible steps to increase the rate at which payments are made

Mr. Hannah

If the Commission are aware of the difficulty, cannot they do something more effective; and do the Government realise the immense discontent all over the country at the delay in making these repairs?

Captain Crookshank

There is bound to be considerable delay because a great deal of the damage was done before the Commission was set up, and they had to deal with arrears as well as the current damage. As already stated, they are taking all possible steps to increase the rate.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Is it not the fact that in some cases where the builders have worked overtime and desired to get the repairs done quickly the War Damage Commission have refused to allow for any overtime payment in the compensation?

Mr. A. Edwards

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman think that six months is unreasonable? When the Commission themselves have authorised the amount to be spent, surely it should not take long after the work is completed to pay over the amount?

Captain Crookshank

These Questions are on detailed points and had much better be put on the Paper. I can only answer on behalf of the Commission. I am not the Commission myself.

Mr. McGovern

Ginger them up.