Government Stocks (Fire Insurance).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply. – in the House of Commons on 18th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

asked the Minister of Supply what has been the relation between the premiums paid by the Government and the claims received up to the 31st December, 1941, under the arrangement whereby stocks under the control of the Ministry are insured against fire risks with insurance companies and Lloyds; and, where payments have been made for expenses other than those contained in the premiums, what relation do these bear to the claims received?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

The amount of the claims settled up to 31st December last, in respect of insured stocks of raw materials under my control, is roughly 25 per cent. of the total amount of premiums paid to that date. In addition, certain claims were outstanding, and certain heavy claims have since been made. No payments have been made for expenses other than those contained in premiums.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Does not my right hon. Friend consider that it would be a more straightforward policy, if it is desirable to maintain the financial strength of these insurance companies, to pay them a direct subsidy, rather than to carry out this policy of insuring Government stocks?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

No, Sir, I could not adopt that policy.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

What is the reason for adopting this oblique method, which the public are quite unable to understand?