War Damage Act Private Chattels Scheme



War Damage Act Private Chattels Scheme


War Damage Act 1943 (Part 1). Issued after European war was over and covers answers to questions on when people will be paid, increases in compensation and payment of interest.

Spatial Coverage





Two page printed document


IBCC Digital Archive


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[Crest of the Board of Trade]


Issued by the Board of Trade


Private Chattels Scheme

Now that the European war is over, many people are asking when their claims will be paid; whether their compensation will be increased to meet higher prices, and whether and when interest will be paid. These are some of the questions being asked and the answers to them:


(1) Question. When will I be paid?

Answer. In general, payment of claims under the War Damage Act is deferred until a date to be fixed by Regulations. A general replacement of losses will hardly be possible until there are in the shops sufficient stocks of goods to meet a general demand and it is not likely that any date for general payment will be fixed until after that condition is attained. It is impossible, therefore, at present to say when that date will be.

(2) Question. Is there any way in which I can be paid before the date of general payment?

Answer. Yes. Earlier payment is made if the claim is small (not exceeding £25) or if the Board of Trade are satisfied that to defer payment would cause undue hardship to the claimant. Application for earlier payment can be made on Form W.D.A.I obtainable from the local information centre. The form should be sent to the local Customs and Excise Officer, whose address can also be obtained from the centre.

(3) Question. Have any claims been paid?

Answer. Yes. Many thousands but in the circumstances given in the answer to the previous question.


NOTE. Compensation is paid on the basis of the prices ruling when the loss occurred; that is, if the loss occurred in December, 1940, the damage is assessed on the basis of the prices at that time and, if the loss occurred in August, 1944, in the basis of the prices ruling in the shops in August, 1944.

But the compensation is not based on the price of new goods. It is based on the value of the goods in the condition in which they were when the loss occurred.

(4) Question. My house was blitzed in December, 1940. My claim was assessed on the basis of the prices ruling then. The money allowed may not be enough to buy similar goods if, when the payment is made, prices are much higher. Will my compensation be increased?

Answer. It is expected that, when conditions become more normal and goods in sufficient supply can be obtained in the shops, prices will be lower than they are not and they may be nearer to those ruling in the earlier part of the war. It is impossible, therefore, to make any definite promise now, but, if there should be a great difference in prices, the matter will certainly be considered as was promised by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in the House of Commons (his statement is produced overleaf)

Continued overleaf

[page break]


(5) Question. When will interest be paid and on what claims?

Answer. Under the War Damage Act, interest accrues at the rate of 2 1/2 per cent, per annum from the date of the damage until the date of the final payment as fixed in the Regulations referred to in answer to Question (1). Under the Act, interest accrues only on amounts deferred until then.

(6) Question. If there has been a long interval between the date of the loss and the time when payment was made, for instance, where earlier payment was made to meet undue hardship, will any interest be paid?

Answer. Under the law as it stands, this is impossible, but the matter will be considered when the general payments are authorised.

Statement made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, in the House of Commons on 3rd June 1942:

“The Government have in mind the possibility of hardships arising to persons of modest resources, if the price level at the date of the payment differs materially from that on which compensation was based. While it would not be right, in the Government’s view, to call on the general taxpayer to find money to pay additional compensation for the replacement of articles which are not necessary for a reasonable standard of life, the Government will be prepared to consider, should the post-war price level and other circumstances require it, the adequacy of the compensation in the case of the small man.”


Insurance and Companies Dept.

May. 1945.

(6/45) (447671) Wt. 26886-1075 20,000 8/45 D.L G. 374




Great Britain. Board of Trade, “War Damage Act Private Chattels Scheme,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 28, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10297.

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