asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the procedure available to citizens who have been put to heavy expense in having their premises requisitioned by various Government Departments and local authorities, often for the second or third time, in order to obtain compensation for the heavy losses they sustain in respect of refurnishing, new black-out, payment of increased rent, and other expenses which would not have been incurred had their premises not been requisitioned?
The nature and extent of compensation in respect of the requisitioning of premises is laid down in the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939. This provides for the payment of rent for the premises requisitioned and of expenses incurred in compliance with any directions given in connection with the taking possession of the premises, such as the costs of removal and storage. The cost of adapting existing furnishings to new premises can be met, but not that of new materials.
Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware of the great delays that have occurred in the granting of compensation and that the ordinary members of the public are not familiar with all the provisions of the Compensation (Defence) Act; and can nothing be done, when people have to provide new oilcloth and black-out material at very considerable expense, owing to being turned out of their houses, to see that they can get prompt payment to enable them to buy these things?