HC Deb 23 November 1943 vol 393 cc1463-4W
Mr. Hutchinson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that no decision upon the question of the amount of compensation to be paid by the War Damage Commission in respect of memorials in burial yards destroyed or damaged by enemy action is to be given under the present arrangements until the end of the war; that in the absence of any such decision persons who are interested in restoring such memorials are in doubt as to their future position; whether he will arrange for a decision upon this subject to be announced at an early date and, if necessary, for facilities for insurance for such memorials to be made available to those who desire to restore them?

Sir J. Anderson

It has not been practicable to arrange for the separate insurance on a voluntary basis of memorials in burial yards. The Treasury has, however, given a direction enabling the War Damage Commission to pay for the general restoration of memorials damaged by enemy action the parts or materials of which are available on the site and which do not require extensive repair; and in the case of destroyed memorials, to pay for a plain substitute where this is deemed suitable. As in prevailing circumstances it would be undesirable to employ materials, labour and transport for the purpose of putting up substitute memorials at the present time, it was considered better not to make any public announcement on the subject.

Dr. Morgan

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that communications sent to the War Damage Commission notifying damage to property by aerial attack in two boroughs, of which he has been informed, are sometimes not even acknowledged; that in the second borough some houses, with glass windows smashed, are left unihabitable and without repair or refitment of the windows by the L.A. agents for the War Damage Commission; and whether steps can be taken in that area to accelerate necessary repairs so that the houses can be made fit for reoccupation?

Mr. Assheton

In reply to the first part of the Question, it is the normal practice of the Commission to issue claim forms immediately on receipt of notifications of war damage. There is no general exception to this practice in the two boroughs of which he has informed me. In reply to the second and third parts, the War Damage Commission is not responsible for having repairs done but for payment of their proper cost when done. I have passed the information sent to me by my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, who is looking into the matter.