14. Major MORRISON-BELL
asked the right hon. Gentleman, as representing the Office of Woods and Forests, whether, on the renewal of the lease of the firm trading at Nos. 18–19, Pall Mall, the Government raised the rent of their tenants from £118 to £820; and whether the Government had in any way assisted this firm to build up their business and goodwill?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
Nos. 18 and 19, Pall Mall, were held under a lease granted in 1833 for a term of eighty years, expiring 5th April, 1913, at rents amounting in the aggregate to £118 17s. per annum. As part of the arrangement for rebuilding the premises, a new lease has been agreed to be granted from that date for a term of eighty years at a rent (after the first year) of £820 per annum, which is the reasonable value of the site. I am not aware that the Government have granted any special assistance to the firm who have taken the new lease.
15. Major MORRISON - BELL
asked whether, as a condition of the renewal of the lease of the Carlton Club and in addition to the raising of the annual rent from £677 to £2,400, the Government exacted the surrender of the lease at the lower figure, which still had nineteen years to run, equivalent to cash payments of over £32,000, besides insisting on expensive alterations to the outside of the building, now estimated to cost over £20,000; and whether, in consequence, the official statement that no fine was payable requires some modification?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
As part of the arrangement for the new lease the club agreed to surrender their present lease and to replace the Caen stone in the elevations of the building with Portland stone. An adequate allowance for the surrender value of the old lease was made by the Crown agreeing the rent to be paid under the new lease. My statement that no fine was payable is correct.
Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether that statement is a Ministerial half-truth?