Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 7th May 1940.
asked the President of the Board of Trade for what reasons it has been decided to insure all stocks of material held by the Government against fire, contrary to previous policy?
The position at present existing, in which immense quantities of commodities are temporarily owned by the Government, is so widely different from that normally prevailing in peace time that it was considered desirable in the public interest to place the fire insurance of these war-time commodities with the ordinary insurance market.
How can that be? Surely the greater your holding of stocks and the more scattered those holdings are, the less necessary it is to pay insurance companies to carry a risk that you are able to bear?
On the contrary, the greater the withdrawal from the insur- ance market the greater the damage to insurance funds.
Is not that precisely what it is, an effort to bolster up the insurance companies by means of public money?
There is no effort to bolster up insurance companies but there is an effort to maintain the stability of insurance funds, in view of the great importance of our international insurance business.
I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter at the first opportunity.