Destroyed Houses (Mortgage Interest)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1946.

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Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey Rotherhithe 12:00 am, 28th November 1946

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider making all mortgage interest charges on owner-occupied houses totally destroyed by enemy action, a national charge during the period that they are uninhabitable.

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

No, Sir. I could not undertake to bring payments of this kind within the field of public compensation.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey Rotherhithe

Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer bear in mind that the Co-operative Building Society and the Halifax Building Society have reduced their interest charges in such cases to 2½per cent.? Will he ask the other building societies to follow this very splendid lead?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

That is a slightly different question, but I will take note of what my hon. Friend says. As he knows, we are endeavouring to reduce interest rates wherever possible.

Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Plymouth, Devonport

In view of the hardship caused to owner-occupiers by the operation of this, as well as other factors, will my right hon. Friend now say when he will be able to make a statement on the general settlement under the War Damage Act, which he foreshadowed last August?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

That is rather a wider question than the one on the Paper, but, as I stated only a few days ago in reply-to another Question, we are working on this matter, and I hope it will not be long before a statement can be made.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester West

Pending a decision in this matter, will my right hon. Friend reconsider the rate of interest to be repaid to owner-occupiers in the case of war damaged houses, in view of the fact that they have to pay a higher rate of interest?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that down.