HC Deb 29 July 1925 vol 187 cc410-1
51. Mr. HAYES

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether, when the lease of the buildings in Chadwick Street, Westminster, in the occupation of the Board of Education, was renewed by his Department last year, it was known that the premises were infested with bugs and rats; what payment was made to the lessees when the lease was renewed and at what date the lease expires; what rent is paid for the premises; and how much money has been expended in the endeavour to free the buildings from bugs and other vermin?


The accommodation occupied by the Board of Education in Chadwick Street, Westminster, consists of the former Wesleyan Practising School, held on lease by this Department at £1,500 per annum for a term of seven years expiring at Michaelmas, 1927, and of part of an adjacent two-storey temporary building erected partly on land belonging to the Department and partly on land held on lease at £107 10s. per annum till Michaelmas, 1927. No renewal of the leases has yet been effected. The whole of the premises and their contents were very thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and fumigated under expert advice last year when the presence of vermin was reported, at a cost of approximately £950.


Is there any hope of effectively removing the vermin that now exist there?


As a matter of fact, these premises have just been examined by the representatives of the London School of Hygiene, and they have reported that there is no vermin there.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the staff have to keep tins of insecticide on their desks in order to deal with these pests? Does the hon. Gentleman provide the insecticide?