§ 42. Mr. HIGHAM
asked the First Commissioner of Works if, in view of the fact that Regent House and Carlton House, in Kingsway, are now practically unoccupied, he will issue the necessary instructions so that the firms who have long leases on these premises can immediately return to them?
§ Mr. PRATT
I regret to say the answer to the question must be in the negative. The offices in Regent House and Carlton House are being vacated in order to provide space for the Commission Internationale de Ravitaillement, who are about to be transferred thereto from their present quarters in Canada, India, and Empire Houses, which will then be occupied by the staff of the Air Ministry in order to release the Hotel Cecil in accordance with the promise given to the House by the First Commissioner of Works.
§ 43. Mr. HIGHAM
asked the First Commissioner of Works if he has asked the War Cabinet Committee on Accommodation to reconsider its decision to retain the various commandeered business buildings in Kingsway and allow the firms who have long leases of these premises at pre-war rentals to return to them, and if he will state under what Section of the Defence of the Realm Act he has the right to commandeer business premises for Civil Departments of the Government?
§ Mr. PRATT
As regards the first part of the question, I can only refer the hon. Member to the answer by the First Commissioner of Works to his question of the 31st ult., to which there is nothing to add. As regards the second part, the premises which are the subject of this question were requisitioned by the competent military authority under the second of the Defence of the Realm Regulations.