HC Deb 21 March 1884 vol 286 cc458-9

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it is the fact that the land belonging to the Crown on the south side of Little Pulteney Street, Wardour Street, Soho, or a portion of it, has been recently leased by the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues, with a view to the erection of Artizans' and Labourers' Dwellings to a Mr. John Rues, of 24, Little Pulteney Street; and, whether Mr. Rees is the same person who was, in April and May last, twice summoned at the Marlborough Street Police Court for the unsanitary condition of some of his houses, and was on both occasions ordered to execute certain repairs, and to pay the costs of the summons, he being at the time a member of the Vestry of the parish of Saint James', Westminster, the parish in which the houses referred to were situate?


Sir, the land in question has been leased as stated, the transaction having been practically completed some six weeks since. Conditions were, however, imposed, with a view to securing proper sanitary arrangements, requiring that the building should be properly erected and maintained, and the observance of these covenants will be carefully enforced. I believe it is true that Mr. Rees was summoned as described; but the houses then in question are not the property of the Crown, and the officers of the Crown were not aware that any complaint had been made against Mr. Rees in respect of those, or any other houses. He has, indeed, been a Crown tenant for many years, and has helped the office in re-deeming the character of Crown property let on expiring leases. Mr. Rees has explained that he was summoned for the default of the tenants who were in possession, when he purchased the property, as yearly tenants, whom he could not evict. There was yet another summons this month in respect of these houses, of which my hon. Friend does not seem aware; but Mr. Rees says this was, in fact, obtained at his own instigation as a means of clearing the property, and that he was acting in relation to it in concert with the Sanitary Inspector and the Vestry Clerk.