HC Deb 27 February 1940 vol 357 cc1901-2W
Mr. R. Morgan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what conditions financial assistance can be given during the war to make possible the restoration of some building or undertaking which it is considered desirable in the public interest to restore; and whether there is any possibility that such assistance can be given during the war to proprietors of piers which are severely damaged and rendered unusable by the explosion of enemy mines?

Sir J. Simon

The Essential Buildings and Plant (Repair of War Damage) Act, 1939, provides that, subject to various conditions, the appropriate Minister may in certain circumstances furnish, by way of loan, financial aid for restoration of war damage. A condition precedent of any such aid is that the Minister shall be satisfied that the building to be repaired is used for purposes which in his opinion are essential to the welfare of the civil population. In the case of piers, the appropriate Minister would normally be the Minister of Transport, though in certain circumstances—for example, that of a fishing harbour in England or Wales whose pier had suffered war damage—the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries might be the appropriate Minister. In Scotland the Secretary of State or the Minister of Transport would be the appropriate Minister, according to circumstances. As regards the last part of his Question, my hon. Friend will see that the possibility of financial aid during the war will depend on the circumstances of each particular case, and I would ask him to submit details of the case he may have in mind to the Minister of Transport.