HC Deb 08 December 1943 vol 395 cc947-8
13. Mr. Frankel

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the arrangements which have been made to meet the hardships of the inhabitants of a certain part in the South-Western area who have been evacuated to make room for troops; and particularly what provision was made for transportation to alternative accommodation; what guarantee was given against pecuniary loss through the compulsory disposal of property, stock and other effects; and what guarantees have been given for the restoration to these people of their homes when the time arrives, together with the assistance to enable them to re-establish themselves when the restoration takes place?

Mr. Alexander

Every endeavour is being made to meet the hardships of the people evacuated from this area. Arrangements have been made to obtain living accommodation for those who are unable to obtain alternative accommodation themselves. Immediate monetary advances are being made in respect of expenses incurred in removal, and free storage accommodation is being provided for property which they cannot take with them. An endeavour is made to find work for those who have no other employment to which they can transfer. A car pool is available to transport people to alternative accommodation in the immediate vicinity or to the nearest railway station in the case of people moving to a distance, and a motor transport pool with the necessary labour has been organised for removing their belongings. Assistance is also being provided for packing and so on, for those unable to do the work themselves.

Compensation has to be paid in accordance with the provisions of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, and consequently it has not been possible to give any guarantee against pecuniary loss; all claims, however, are being dealt with as generously as possible under the Act. It is anticipated that the provision of storage accommodation for furniture and other effects and the arrangements which have been made for maintaining livestock on other farms outside the area will mean that very few people will have to dispose of their property, stock and other effects. People affected have been told that the area will be released from requisition as soon as Service requirements permit and that just as every assistance is being given to them in evacuating the area, so will all possible aid be given in re-establishing them later.

Mr. Frankel

Is any special organisation being set up to deal with representations in respect of particular cases of hardship?

Mr. Alexander

All that has been communicated to the people on the spot.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

What arrangements, if any, have been made to preserve monuments and buildings of architectural or other value and properties of peculiar agricultural or horticultural value?

Mr. Alexander

The Chiefs of Staff concerned are constantly in touch with each other, and are doing their best to secure the objectives my hon. Friend has in mind.

Mr. Nicholson

Is my right hon. Friend sure that the Chiefs of Staff concerned have an appreciation of these aspects of the matter?

Mr. Alexander

I find that the Chiefs of Staff, who are representatives of the American nation, are as keen upon those things as we are ourselves.