§ 5. Mr. CASSEL
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, on the grant of a new lease of Nos. 32 and 34, Osnaburgh Street, Regent's Park, in the year 1912, not only increased the rent from £10 to £180 after the second year, but in addition insisted on the expenditure of a considerable sum in the erection of new buildings; and what was the amount to be so expended?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Herbert Lewis, for Mr. Runciman)
Nos. 32 and 34, Osnaburgh Street, comprise a house and a builder's yard with an area of upwards of 12,000 square feet. The premises were held under leases granted in 1834 at £10 per annum, an apportioned part of a rent agreed in 1815 to be paid for a large area of land on part of which these houses were built. A new lease has been agreed to be granted at £180 a year, which the Commissioner of Woods was advised was the fair value of the site, and the lessee has agreed to expend £5,000 in erecting new buildings of which sum £1,400 was received under insurances on old buildings on part of the site that were destroyed by fire.
§ Mr. CASSEL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the strictures passed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on private landlords, the Government can see their way to cease treating their tenants more harshly than any of the private estate owners in St. Pancras treat theirs?
§ Mr. HERBERT LEWIS
The leases were granted a considerable time ago, and I may say there were special circumstances which made the rent charged even at that distant date a much more reasonable one.
§ Mr. EUGENE WASON
May I ask whether the rent paid by these leaseholders of the Crown does not compare very favourably with the terms given by private owners?