HC Deb 26 March 1946 vol 421 cc210-1
54. Captain Sir Peter Macdonald

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the delay in dealing with war damage claims in the Isle of Wight and elsewhere at the Reading office of the War Damage Commission; and whether letters will be sent without delay to all correspondents who write to the Reading office on this subject, indicating the present position with regard to their claims, and if payment can be expected so that they can make their plans accordingly.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Dalton)

No, Sir. There is no general delay in the payment of cost of works claims from the Isle of Wight, or elsewhere in the area covered by the Reading office of the War Damage Commission. I shall be glad to look into any particular case in which undue delay is alleged.

Sir P. Macdonald

Is the right hon Gentleman aware that many people say they cannot get replies or even have their letters of claims acknowledged?

Mr. Dalton

I have taken the trouble to look into the facts of the case, and I find that there are 260 letters a week and that 260 claims a week are being paid out by this office, and I am informed that they have only four weeks' work in hand at the moment. I think they are pretty quick with it, but I will look into any complaint.

57. Mr. Wadsworth

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give consideration to the formulation of a system whereby those who have lost property by enemy action and have a claim against the War Damage Commission arid are in financial difficulties due to the loss of returns from such property, can receive a grant to enable them to live, such grant to be set against final settlement.

Mr. Dalton

Occupiers of war damaged premises can already obtain advances for building purposes or to secure other premises. As regards the release of value payments for other purposes, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Drake (Mr. Medland) on 5th February last [Column 1534].

63. Mr. Paton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now say when claims outstanding for damage to goods and chattels insured under the War Damage Act will begin to be paid.

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir. The date of payment must depend not only on financial considerations but also on the availablility of supplies.

Mr. Paton

When reconsideration is possible, will the Chancellor keep specially in mind the claims of old people who are suffering very great hardship in this matter?