HL Deb 09 June 1948 vol 156 cc527-8

2.5 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask His Majesty's Government the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government, what compensation it is proposed to pay to those living in villages around the Imber training area who have, in the last three weeks, due to very heavy gunfire and bombing, had their ceilings in their houses brought down; and further, whether steps could be taken by His Majesty's Government to ensure that during Divine Service on Sundays heavy gunfire and bombing should not take place in this battle area.]


My Lords, claims for compensation will be dealt with under the normal procedure, and each case will be considered on its merits. The area is required for use on Sundays by the Territorial Army, whose training must of necessity take place at week-ends. But I will ask my right honourable friend if he will have the matter looked into further.


My Lords, I would like to thank the noble Lord for his reply, and especially for the latter part of it. So far as the last part of my question is concerned, would it not be possible (I am an old Territorial myself) for the hours of these practices to be before Divine Service or after it? In so far as the first part of the answer is concerned, would the noble Lord ask His Majesty's Government to give the same consideration to the matter as, through the good offices of the noble Lord, Lord Henderson, they gave last July to stopping the heavy bombing at Lavington? The moment that happened there were no claims for compensation. Having that in mind, would the noble Lord make representations that a limit should be set on the size of the bomb and the weight of the shell fire? In that event, these claims will not be necessary; but if the heavy gunfire and bombing continue, it must be appreciated that there will be loss of life and great damage done to historical buildings.


I will certainly have everything that the noble Lord has said brought to the attention of my right honourable friend. However, I cannot hold out any hope of action in the sense to which he has referred.

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