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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Treasurer) . - Various complications have, to date, prevented the extension to certain enemy aliens of the right to insure their property against war damage, but the points raised by the honorable member contain considerable merit, and will be examined. Of course, some enemy aliens have been interned, and it is not presumed that their property should be so covered. If property be extensively damaged as the result of enemy action, the insurance fund will have to be heavily subsidized by the Commonwealth Government, because it is possible that the present rates will not be adequate to provide compensation .for the widespread destruction of property. The Government could not very well subsidize payments in respect of damage to property which is owned by outright enemy aliens. Nevertheless, the points which have been advanced by the honorable member will receive careful consideration, and I desire to inform him that the whole matter is now under review. The honorable gentleman stated that some persons, though technically enemy aliens, have been driven, out of enemy countries because they were not in sympathy with the policy of the Nazi or Fascist Government, whilst others who have sought refuge here are completely opposed to all forms of totalitarianism. Their claims for the right to insure their property against war damage will be closely examined, and the Government will ascertain whether a formula can be devised to remove existing hardships.

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