§ MR. PICKERSGILL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has approved a scheme submitted by the South-Eastern Railway Company for re-housing persons displaced under the powers of the company's Act of 1897, which scheme involves the demolition of some thirty-four or more houses inhabited by the labouring class near Abbey Street, Bermondsey; and, if so, will he say what steps he has taken, in view of the overcrowded condition of this district, to compel the South-Eastern Railway Company to provide accommodation elsewhere during rebuilding upon the site for the persons (some 300 in number) who will be thus turned out of their homes.
§ * SIR M. WHITE RIDLEY
I have approved a re-housing scheme under the South-Eastern Railway Company's Act of 1897, and in order to carry it out some houses occupied by the labouring class near Abbey Street have to be demolished. These houses were not acquired under the Act, and there is no statutory duty upon the company to re-house their inhabitants. But I may say that the displacement of these persons has been one of the circumstances which I have carefully considered in settling the scheme. I believe that the scheme is calculated to do the best that circumstances will permit for the labouring class in this particular neighbourhood. It is a complicated question which I cannot go into now, but if the hon. Member cares to call at the Home Office some officer of that Department will be happy to explain the whole matter to him.