HC Deb 24 June 1948 vol 452 cc1561-2
58. Mrs. Manning

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether the policy of the War Damage Commission on the question of late notification as outlined in his letter of 28th May, 1948, addressed to the hon. Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Mrs. Middleton) still holds good.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Eric Fletcher

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is very great feeling in the country on this question of late notification; and that very great hardship is being suffered by many people, particularly by those who, because they are not sufficiently educated, do not fully understand? Will my right hon. Friend look into the matter again?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I have answered Questions on this matter on a number of occasions. It is most difficult to deal with this subject at Question time. Recently we dealt with it on the Adjournment, and I am afraid I can add nothing to what was said then.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Has the attention of the War Damage Commission been called to the anxiety on this subject existing on both sides of the House, and to the important Adjournment Debate recently held?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Most certainly, Sir. The Chairman of the War Damage Commission has read with great care both the Proceedings on the Adjournment Debate and the Questions that have been put.

Mrs. Middleton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that my hon. Friend the Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Mr. Medland) and I have received a petition from our constituents containing 126 names of people who are dissatisfied with the way in which they have been treated by the War Damage Commission in relation to late notification, and that that is quite apart from individual cases which we have received? Will he not, even now, do something to give satisfaction to these people who suffered so badly during the war?

Mr. Driberg

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, even though notice may have been taken of that Adjournment Debate, the Chairman of the War Damage Commission is still advising hon. Members that there is no change in policy, even where there has been a bona fide misunderstanding?

Mr. Keeling

Will the Financial Secretary give an assurance that special consideration will be given to claims which have been delayed because the owner has only recently returned from serving his country abroad?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

These questions are not for me: they are for the War Damage Commission which is a statutory body set up by this House under an Act of Parliament. It is for that body to decide what claims they shall or shall not admit.

Mr. Driberg

On a point of Order. In view of my right hon. Friend's last reply, does he not seem to be implying that the Table was wrong in accepting a Question at all about this matter? If a Question is on the Order Paper, ought he not to be able to answer that Question and supplementaries arising out of it?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

My hon. Friend is quite correct. I do answer Questions in this House for the War Damage Commission, but that does not invalidate what I said.