§ 46. Mr. HARRIS
asked the Prime Minister whether he has considered the request from the Member for South-West Bethnal Green, on behalf of a number of London Members, to receive a deputation concerning the re-opening of Deptford cattle market now that the embargo on the importation of Canadian cattle has been removed; and whether, seeing the urgent importance of this question to the Metropolitan area, he is now prepared to accede to this request?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Gwynne)
In the absence of my right hon. Friend, I have been asked to reply. I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which I gave on 10th and 26th April to the hon. Member for Central Southwark (Mr. Gilbert) and the right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Bowerman), respectively. The War Office is desirous of giving up, without delay, the eastern half of the area, which I understand is the part which was used as a cattle market. The Army Council are already in active negotiation with the landlords on the subject, and I do not think, therefore, that the reception of a deputation at present would serve any useful purpose.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that, owing to the delay in coming to a decision in this matter, much of this trade is going to other parts of the country instead of to London, and 1364 that the City of London, who are the landlords in the matter, are more interested in getting the rents of this property than in providing market facilities for the people of London?
§ Mr. GWYNNE
It is quite clear that the War Office want to terminate their agreement with regard to this part of the market, but they cannot force the landlords. It can only be done by arrangement, which is being pressed forward as much as possible.