HC Deb 07 July 1948 vol 453 c369
40. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the estimated damage done by the fire at Castries; how the cost of rebuilding is to be met; and why so much damage was done before the fire was put out.

Mr. Rees-Williams

The Administrator has provisionally estimated the loss at a little under £2,000,000. Insurance payments, covering about one quarter of the damage, will be available to pay for rebuilding, and no doubt other private funds will be forthcoming. A contribution from His Majesty's Government is under consideration. As regards the third part of the Question, I am informed that a prolonged drought had reduced pressure in the street hydrants. A Commission of Inquiry has been appointed by the St. Lucia Government to examine the causes and handling of the fire.

Mr. Gammans

Any suspicion of arson?

Mr. Rees-Williams

Not that I am aware.