HC Deb 01 December 1948 vol 458 cc186-7W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will inquire into the case, details of which have been submitted to him, of a medical graduate of London University serving in the R.A.F., whose belongings were improperly sent to India instead of to Iraq, where this officer was to be stationed; that this luggage included irreplaceable medical text books, the loss of which is handicapping the officer; and that as these facts are acknowledged by the R.A.F., if he will arrange for proper compensation to be paid.

Mr. A. Henderson

I am advised that this baggage was wrongly shipped to India from Port Said but there is no evidence that it ever reached India and inquiries of the shipping company concerned have failed to disclose the circumstances surrounding its loss. Under regulations, compensation is not payable from Air Force funds for losses in transit of the private property of Service personnel and the owner is normally left to pursue for redress through either the responsible carrier company or his insurers. It is presumed that in the present case the owner had not insured his baggage as advised in regulations and I am satisfied that no success would attend any attempt on his part to claim compensation from the shipping company. As, therefore, my Department cannot disclaim responsibility for wrong shipment, and as also the medical books concerned could be classed as a reasonable requirement for a medical officer on R.A.F. service, I am glad to say that compensation will be made and my Department is writing to the claimant to arrange a settlement.