§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will state the name of the official who furnished him with the statement that there is no insanitary area in Lambeth belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall; whether the freehold of certain insanitary houses in Lambeth belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall, and whether the Prince of Wales receives the ground rents; if not, who does receive the ground rents; what revenue the Duchy of Cornwall derives from London, and how many (if any) dwellings for the working classes have been built in London by the Duchy; and, if so, where situate; whether the Duchy will undertake to build houses for the working classes; and whether the leases from the Duchy of Cornwall contain clauses enabling the Duchy to enforce sanitation; if not, will he lay upon the Table the present form of Duchy lease, and undertake that future building leases shall contain such clauses?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. T. HIBBERT, Oldham)
The statement was furnished by the Secretary of the Duchy of Cornwall, who had submitted it for approval to the Prince of Wales's Council, the subject having been under investigation by a Committee. As stated on the 19th June last, the freehold of Salutation Place belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall, the proportion of ground rent paid to the Duchy amounting to £21 a year; but the Duchy has at present no power to interfere with the property. The houses, though objectionable in construction, are not in such a condition as to enable the Local Authorities to obtain a closing order. The lease comprising the area in question was granted in the early part of the century, when the views on sanitation were very different from what they are at the present time. It contemplated the erection of four good substantial houses on the whole site, or of such buildings as would be of at least equal value. The lessees ultimately erected upwards of 60 houses. In recent years the Duchy has granted building leases only on condition of the plans being submitted for approval; but for some time no building leases for dwellings inhabited by the working classes have been granted by the Duchy, such dwellings having been erected by the Duchy itself for the very purpose of insuring good sanitation. During the last seven years about £32,000 has been spent by the Duchy on the removal of inferior dwellings and the erection of improved buildings in the parish of Lambeth, and other houses-are still in course of construction. The amount of Duchy revenue obtained from London property is not included as a separate item in the Returns made to Parliament.