HC Deb 07 June 1946 vol 423 cc388-9W
Mr. De la Bére

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give an assurance that those people who have paid their war damage insurance regularly and now ask as legitimate claimants for payment on account for the loss of chattels by bomb damage, will not be compelled to undergo a severe means test, but will be treated as they would be by any insurance company where a legitimate claim was being lodged.

Mr. Belcher

The underlying principle of the War Damage Act under which private chattels policies were issued is that payment should be deferred until a date to be determined by Treasury regulations, unless the Board of Trade are satisfied either that the repair or replacement of the goods is expedient in the public interest or that such payment is necessary to avoid undue hardship to the claimant. An insurance company is under no such statutory obligation. Everyone who has a valid claim under the Chattels Scheme can obtain advance payment provided he can satisfy the Board of Trade, in accordance with the provisions of the War Damage Act, that the payment is necessary to avoid undue hardship. The officers administering the power have instructions to treat claimants with the utmost consideration consistent with the carrying out of their statutory duty.