HC Deb 26 March 1946 vol 421 cc197-8
35. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that his Department has refused compensation to Mr. Howell, of Brighton, for damage occasioned to his fishing trawler consequent on its removal from the shore in 1940 by Army authorities, on the ground that Mr. Howell should have safeguarded it himself; and whether, as Mr. Howell could not safeguard it during the four years he was a prisoner of war, he will reconsider the payment of compensation.

Mr. Lawson

I have nothing to add to the letter I sent to the hon. and learned Member on 15th March in which I pointed out that the claimant had left his boat in the care of his son.

Mr. Marlowe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that during six months of correspondence between his Department and myself, the War Office maintained that it was the duty of this man to have looked after his own boat during the time he was a prisoner of war, and it was only after I put this Question down that the War Office, for the first time, switched the responsibility to the man's son? Why is it that, because this man happens to have a son, the War Office should be relieved of responsibility?

Mr. Lawson

The man himself said that he left the boat in charge of his son