HC Deb 11 May 1891 vol 353 cc484-5
MR. MORTON (Peterborough)

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether it is true that the Government acquired under the compulsory clauses of "The Bankruptcy Offices Site Act, 1887," the Carey Street building site, at the price of £6,000, owing to an incorrect statement having previously been made by their surveyor to the effect that the Government intended to repudiate an agreement they had made to widen and improve a certain footway; whether the surveyor had any authority to make such a statement; and whether, as the Solicitor General, acting as counsel for the Government at the inquiry, admitted that the statement made by the surveyor was unfounded, the Government will compensate the then owners of the Carey Street building site for the loss incurred thereby?


The hon. Member's question, I imagine, refers to the land acquired from the Streatham Estates Company, which was taken by the Government under the Act referred to, for £6,000. The whole of the Carey Street site cost not £6,000 but £80,000. The price was fixed at £6,000 by a jury on the 8th June, 1888, after a three days' hearing, at which the vendors were represented by Sir Charles Russell, Mr. Littler and other counsel, and all material facts were fully discussed. I am unable to follow the allegation in regard to an incorrect statement by the Board's Surveyor; but the hon. Member's question seems to imply that the point, whatever it is, was raised at the hearing, so that the jury must have had it before them. I see no reason for re-opening the case, even if I had the power to do so.