Aircraft Accident, Kent

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force – in the House of Commons on 18th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can give any information in connection with the crashing of an aeroplane at Cliffe, Kent, on Saturday, 24th October; how many people were injured; what property was damaged; and what was' the cause of the accident?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

This accident occurred when a Royal Air Force aircraft crashed on returning from an operational flight. The causes of the accident are being investigated by a court of inquiry. The crew of seven and one civilian were killed and two civilians were injured. Four cottages and a farmhouse were destroyed. I am sure that the House would wish to join with me in expressing sympathy with the relatives of those who lost their lives and with those injured as a result of this regrettable accident.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Will the relatives of the people who were killed, or the injured, get compensation?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

That will certainly be considered in accordance, with the usual practice.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Do I understand that to mean that it will be a decision, after the inquiry, as to whether compensation will be paid to the parents of those killed, and to the injured?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

Any question about personal injury to civilians should be addressed to the Minister of Pensions. If my hon. Friend is thinking of damage to land and buildings, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

No, I am thinking about the people who are injured.

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

In that case I am saying it is a case for the Minister of Pensions.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Surely if a vehicle belonging to the Crown injures a civilian that civilian has the same rights against the Crown as he would have against an ordinary civilian who caused such an accident?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

If the hon. Member wishes to pursue this and wishes to know which Minister in the Government is responsible for dealing with the question of compensation to civilians, that member of the Government is the Minister of Pensions.