HC Deb 28 June 1944 vol 401 cc702-3
17. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps were taken, and on what dates, to examine the claim brought to his notice by letter, dated 30th May, from the hon. Member for the Tam-worth Division, for damages to a bicycle by a R.A.F. vehicle at Sutton Coldfield on 10th August, 1943, liability for which was not disputed; and how long the damaged bicycle was immobilised pending inspection by the Claims Commission.

Sir A. Sinclair

The first intimation of a claim for compensation for the damaged bicycle was received on 28th April, 1944, when the claimant stated that she had purchased another bicycle. The claim was passed to the Claims Commission who, after correspondence, notified the claimant that the bicycle would be inspected. This inspection took place on 12th June. An immediate inspection would have involved a special journey by road of over 50 miles. Payment of agreed compensation was made on 26th June.

Sir J. Mellor

As my right hon. Friend said in his letter of 9th June that this claim was being given priority, could he say how long it takes to deal with a claim that is not given priority?

Sir A. Sinclair

No, Sir. This lady had informed us that she had purchased another bicycle and it would have required a 5o mile journey to make a special inspection of the old bicycle. If the story was a little longer than it should have been, at least it had a happy ending.

Sir Herbert Williams

Is the Air Ministry quite incapable of getting somebody locally to inspect the bicycle? Would any business firm behave with such folly?

Sir A. Sinclair

This bicycle had to be inspected, not by the Air Ministry but by the Inspector of the Claims Commission.

Sir H. Williams

Surely they could get a local policeman or anyone else to do it?