§ 30. Colonel DAY
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether the contract has been signed and the deposit paid far the purchase of the Wembley site, of the British Imperial Exhibition; what was the amount realised by such sale; and what is the completion date of sale?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT of OVERSEAS TRADE (Mr. A. M. Samuel)
I am informed by the liquidators that a contract has been signed and 10 per cent. deposit paid for the sale of the estate of the British Empire Exhibition for the sum of £300,000. This the liquidators, after investigation of previous offers, considered to be the most advantageous proposal received. The date fixed for completion of the purchase is 1st October, 1926, but the purchasers have the option of deferring completion, if desired and after giving proper notice, until 1st July, 1927, on payment of interest at 5 per cent. per annum.
§ Colonel DAY
Can the hon. Gentleman say why this property was withdrawn at public auction when an offer of £315,000 was made for it?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
There was an inquiry, and the restrictions, or whatever the difficulties were, were discussed, and the result of that inquiry was published recently, In any case, the purchasers evidently satisfied themselves that the restrictions, if any, had been removed or were not of such a kind as to prevent them taking the steps they did take with a view to purchase.
§ Mr. T. JOHNSTON
Is it the case that this property was withdrawn at £315,000 and then was later sold by private treaty for £300,000?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
It may or may not have been the case, but there is one fact which must be borne in mind. Certain obligations rested upon the shoulders of the sellers, the liquidators, and they were considerable; such as the upkeep of rates and taxes and other contracts. Under this sale, as far as I understand it, every obligation which may rest upon the liquidators at date of sale contract has been taken off their shoulders, and the sum for which the property has now been sold covers everything, so that the purchasers take over liabilities which may exist on the property at date of purchase, as part of the bargain at the price agreed upon.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Can the hon. Gentleman answer the straight question I put to him? Is it the case that an offer of £315,000 was made for this property, that the liquidators refused it, and that they later sold it for £300,000?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
I cannot say whether or not that was the case, but this I think I can say, that the conditions as to liabilities under which the property has now been sold are different from those under which it was offered before at auction.
§ Mr. F. LEE
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the obligations now entered into will make the price more than £315,000?