HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 cc183-4
25. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now discontinue the arrangements for insuring Government-owned commodities in the insurance market, and revert to the prewar practice whereby the Government bore its own risk.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The extent to which it may be necessary to renew these arrangements for a further period is now under consideration.

Mr. Robinson

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the original arguments in favour of the present arrangements, which were a kind of National Assistance scheme for the private insurance industry in war-time, are no longer valid? Is he aware that some £10 million of taxpayers' money has filtered through in profits to the private insurance industry since this arrangement came into force?

Mr. Butler

The hon. Gentleman has given a rather pointed illustration of the difficulties, and I realise that there is something in what he has said. All that I can do is to promise to study what he has said.