HC Deb 27 October 1949 vol 468 cc1501-2
26. Mrs. Leah Manning

asked the President of the Board of Trade if it is now possible to make an announcement of the date on which deferred business scheme claims under the War Damage Act will be paid.

Mr. H. Wilson

I regret that I cannot add to the answers given to my hon. Friends the Members for Wimbledon (Mr. Palmer) and South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Holman) on 4th May and 28th July, respectively.

Mrs. Manning

Is my right hon. Friend aware that for the past four years many business men have been without equipment they lost during the blitz and have been unable to do any kind of work at all? Why is it more important to allow refunds for chattels than for business equipment?

Mr. Wilson

I think the House will agree, particularly in view of the Debate on the statement of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, that to speed up the payments of these claims would be highly inflationary at the present time, although we have, of course, made arrangements for payment in cases where hardship is involved.

Mrs. Manning

Would it be inflationary if these people were engaged in productive work?

Mr. Wilson

There is no evidence to the effect that a large number of them are not already engaged in productive work.

Colonel Dower

Will not the right hon. Gentleman consider paying a percentage of the claims as an earnest of his intentions?

Mr. Wilson

We are prepared to pay a percentage, or the full claim, in cases where hardship is involved.

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