§ 33. Captain RAMAGE
asked the First Commissioner of Works if he is aware that between 20 and 30 unemployed tenants of His Majesty's Office of Works occupying the munition cottages, Scots-wood, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, have received notices to quit from His Majesty's Office of Works on account of arrears of rent; if he is aware that there is no alternative accommodation in the Scotswood district to which the tenants affected can go; and if he will give an assurance that, in view of the poverty of the tenants and of the imminent gap period in the unemployment insurance benefit, these notices will be withdrawn or, at least, suspended?
§ The FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (Sir John Baird)
There are at the moment only two notices to quit which are operative against unemployed tenants. Twenty-eight notices were served on the 28th May last, and in all cases where the tenants have not subsequently vacated the notices have been withdrawn on satisfactory arrangements to pay having been made. Much as I regret the necessity for taking action against tenants heavily in arrear with their rent, it would be clearly improper for a Government Department to grant to its tenants what would in effect be a subsidy to them at the expense of taxpayers generally.
§ Captain RAMAGE
How does he suggest that these tenants are to pay off their arrears of rent while they are unemployed, and where does he suggest that these people are to go?
§ Sir J. BAIRD
Arrangements have been made for these tenants to gradually pay off the rent, and we have been very lenient in enforcing the law in regard to them.