HC Deb 20 September 1948 vol 456 cc485-6
1. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Minister of Works whether it is on his instructions that officers of local authorities, to whom he has delegated powers, withhold licences for the complete rebuilding of war damaged houses until applicants have come to prior agreement with the Commission as to the amount of the claim ultimately to be made on the Commission.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Key)

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Skinnard

In view of the considerable delay which has occurred in many instances owing to the need for applicants to seek this prior agreement, and in view of the fact that this provision is not in the War Damage Act, will the Minister consider withdrawing the instruction?

Mr. Key

No, Sir. This was done in order to assist the applicant and to see that the applicant did not become committed to a licence beyond a figure the War Damage Commission were prepared to give.

Colonel Dower

While it is undoubtedly desirable to agree on what is war damage and what is not, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there is considerable delay in the granting of licences, owing to war damage claims taking up their time and that their decisions are very often indefinite and people are left where they were at the start?