51. Dr. Russell Thomas
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what instructions have been given recently by the naval officer commanding in regard to private boats in Millbrook Hard, Southampton; and whether compensation will be paid by the Admiralty for damage done to the boats from use by naval personnel or from other causes beyond the control of the owners.
It has recently been found necessary to extend the requisition at Millbrook Hard and consequently a notice was issued on the 20th October to the owners of boats in the requisitioned area requiring them either to remove their boats from the area before the 30th October or to sign a declaration that they were prepared to leave their craft at the Hard at their own risk. The notice pointed out that the reasonable cost of removal is recoverable from the Admiralty under the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939. With regard to the second part of the Question, claims have been received from several owners of boats in the vicinity alleging that loss or damage had been caused by naval personnel. These claims are now under consideration.
In view of the difficulty of removing these boats—some of the owners are away on service—why has the Commanding Officer of H.M.S. "Squib" embodied in the form a demand that the owners should relieve the Admiralty of any responsibility as far as compensation is concerned?