§ 6. Captain BARNETT
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, in cases where businesses wound up under the Trading with the Enemy Act have been carried on in premises which for rating purposes formed part of a larger assessment, he will take steps to secure that proportional relief shall be granted by the local rating and taxing authorities in respect of tenancies determined by reason of such winding-up?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. S. Walsh)
The matter seems to be one for the assessment authorities. The Local Government Board is not empowered to take any steps with respect to it.
§ 7. Captain BARNETT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in reference to the winding-up of German firms under the Trading with the Enemy Act, his attention has been called to the terms upon which controllers of such businesses require landlords to accept surrenders of tenancies; whether, in cases where trades have been carried on by solvent enemy firms in premises suitable only for such trades, and unlikely to be occupied again for a lengthy period, his Department has insisted on the landlord's claims being compromised; and, if so, what interests such action is intended to promote?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. G. Roberts)
There has been no compulsion on landlords of premises occupied by enemy businesses to accept surrenders of their tenancies, but terms of surrender have been agreed to between landlords and controllers in order that the winding-up of the businesses may be completed.
§ Captain BARNETT
Does it not amount to compulsion to tell a landlord that unless he accepts a compromise the premises will be closed down, and that he will have to wait until after the War?
§ Captain BARNETT
Will the hon. Gentleman answer the last part of my question, and say what action it is proposed to take?
§ Sir J. D. REES
Could the hon. Gentleman speed up the winding up of these German firms, in view of the fact that in the City of London there is a strong suspicion that many of them are spies?
§ Mr. ROBERTS
The endeavour to expedite the winding up of these businesses has largely given rise to the complaints of my hon. Friend.