HC Deb 08 October 1940 vol 365 cc269-70W
Sir C. Rawson

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that hardship is being suffered by persons who have been compulsorily evacuated from parts of defence areas under Regulation 16A of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, such persons not being entitled to compensation under the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, nor, in some cases, to the relief given by the Defence (Evacuated Areas) Regulation, 1940, because the areas in question have not been declared evacuation areas for the purpose of that Regulation; and whether he will amend the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, to provide that property compulsorily evacuated for military purposes under Regulation 16A shall be deemed, for the purposes of that Act, to have been requisitioned for such purposes under Defence Regulation 51, or, alternatively, whether he will arrange that property compulsorily evacuated under Regulation 16A for military purposes shall be formally requisitioned by the military authorities, so that compensation will become payable under the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939.

Captain Crookshank

I am aware of the hardship suffered by persons by reason of military measures taken for the defence of the country, and the matter is at the moment engaging the anxious consideration of the Government. I may remind the hon. Member that compulsory evacuation has been directed in a very few parts of the Defence Areas, evacuation for the most part having been effected without the need of compulsory measures. Whether or not the moratorium and other provisions contained in the Defence (Evacuation Areas) Regulations, 1940, should be further extended is one of the matters which is being considered. In regard to the last part of the Question, the Government do not propose to introduce legislation to amend the provisions of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, or to attempt a scheme of notional requisitioning with a view to payment of compensation under that Act. Such treatment would be inequitable in its incidence and would not fairly meet the circumstances of the cases of the various sections of the community who in one way or another suffer loss or hardship from war operations.