asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the unprecendented circumstances attending the dislocation of whole populations in certain areas for battle training purposes, he will consider amending the Compensation Act so as to provide compensation in such cases for loss of profit where a person, so dispossessed, has been dependent for his livelihood upon a small business built up over a number of years, such as a shop or public-house and for which, under the present arrangements, he is to receive no consideration whatever?
I have, as I have already informed my hon. and gallant Friend, been in close touch with the Departments immediately concerned with the consequences of the requisitioning of these areas, and I am satisfied that they are co-operating to do their utmost to minimise the hardship which the needs of the War Office have unavoidably created. I regret, however, that I cannot introduce legislation to provide special compensation for loss of profits. This kind of loss unfortunately arises in many ways as the result of the war, and the Government have frequently made it plain that it lies outside the scope of the compensation they have undertaken, or are able, to provide.
Is it not a fact that this is an entirely new set of circumstances and that my right hon. Friend is taking up the position of a chicken which stands hypnotised in front of a white line?