§ Mr. Burden
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how the fire at Chatham Dockyard on 12th July originated;
(2) if he will give an estimate of the total cost of the damage to dockyard establishments and equipment, and private property, respectively, as a result of the fire at Chatham Dockyard on 12th July, 1966;
(3) how essential production in Chatham Dockyard has been affected by fire damage on 12th July;279W
(4) what steps he is taking to ensure that the owners of private property that was destroyed as a result of the fire at Chatham Dockyard on 12th July will be recompensed for the loss of or damage to their property.
§ Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu
The cause and cost of this fire are matters for the Board of Inquiry, but I can say now that the value of the stores which were burnt was not very great, and production was not affected by the fire. Private property is brought into a dockyard at the owners' risk, but we are always prepared to consider exceptional claims without prejudice.