HC Deb 09 November 1945 vol 415 cc1619-20

Considered in Committee, under Standing Order No. 69.

[Mr. HUBERT BEAUMONT in the Chair.]

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to provide for the transfer, to a tribunal to be established for that purpose, of jurisdiction to determine appeals and references which under section thirty-two of the War Damage Act, 1943, may be made to a referee, it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of moneys provided by Parliament, of—

  1. (a) such remuneration and travelling and subsistence allowances of members of any panel constituted under the said Act, and such remuneration of officers and servants of any such panel, as the Lord Chancellor may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine; and
  2. (b) such other expense of any such panel as the Treasury may determine."—(King's Recommendation signified).

11.38 a.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

May I ask the Financial Secretary whether the Resolution will include payment for offices in the blitzed areas and towns where damage has occurred on a considerable scale? It is highly important that valuations should be made in the affected areas, and that those who take part in them should, at any rate, to some extent, have local knowledge of values and not be just sent up from London for a specified purpose.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

It is expected that the legal president who will be appointed under this Bill, if it goes through, will have offices, and that means staff; it means, what we think desirable, that some order will have to be brought into this matter if cases are not to be taken in a haphazard fashion.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

When it comes to the question of adjudicating on difficult questions of value, it is obvious that those people who reside in the blitzed areas or towns, are likely to be able to come to a much clearer judgment than those from offices set up, say, in London.

Mr. Hall

It is not suggested that officers should necessarily be sent down from London, and that the surveyors and valuers appointed to the panel should be professional people who practice only in London; nor is it expected that there will be a very large number of appeals. We do not know. Two hundred thousand claims have been put in to be adjudicated, but we do not for a moment imagine that the whole of that number will go to appeal.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported upon Monday next.