§ 49. Colonel Baldwin-Webb
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, with reference to War Risks (Compensation Insurance), it is intended to take the replacement value of all properties, whether privately owned or otherwise, regardless of their actual market value; and, further, is it intended to compensate all property owners pro rata up to the extent of funds available?
§ Sir J. Simon
The best basis for measuring loss is, as my hon. and gallant Friend will realise, a very difficult matter to decide and it is still to be settled. As regards the second part of the question, I assume that the reference is to immovable property, and if so, the statement which I made in the House on 31st January indicated that compensation would be payable in accordance with a scale which would in any event pay in full up to a certain limit of loss; if the total loss could not be thus dealt with, the scale would thereafter be graded. Such a scale would be of general application.
§ Colonel Baldwin-Webb
May I ask whether the Chancellor realises that there is considerable anxiety and uncertainty in this matter with regard to both small and large properties, and in dealing further with the question, will he consider adopting or recommending for adoption, a procedure similar to that adopted by the shipping industry in the last War?
§ Sir J. Simon
I am sure the hon. and gallant Gentleman appreciates that what 746 was done in the last War in relation to the shipping industry, if the case were to arise again, could not be regarded as easily applicable to the whole range of properties in these islands which is an infinitely larger problem. I have fully in mind the point which the hon. and gallant Member has raised.