HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc429-30W
Sir L. Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the complaints from contractors regarding delay in receiving payments for work completed, and already passed for payment, by the various aerodromes; and whether he is satisfied that the Accounts Departments are adequately staffed to deal with the increasing volume of work?

Sir K. Wood

I am not aware of com plaints from contractors regarding delay in receiving payment of their claims in cases where they have been passed for payment. The procedure in my Department normally provides for payment of such claims within a few days and the staffs concerned are adequate. Some delay is inevitable in the settlement of claims in which any matters are in dispute, for such claims may involve discussion of technical, contractual, financial or legal matters. With the very heavy programme of building which has had to be carried out at great speed some delay in these claims has been inevitable.

I have, however, examined the general question of dealing with this heavy volume of work and steps have been taken to accelerate the handling of the existing volume of work and also the disposal of the very large number of claims which must arise in the future. The matter is being kept under constant review.