HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc28-30
59. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, under the Civil Defence Act, notice is being given to householders that they must have rooms ready for the accommodation of civil servants without any consideration for the future personal or family arrangements of the householder, and without any guarantee that the accommodation will in fact be occupied or, in the event of non-occupation, that compensation will be paid; and what action he is taking in the matter?

Captain Crookshank

Billets which might in certain circumstances be required in various towns for the accommodation of civil servants have been surveyed, and in the course of the present week a warning notice is being handed to householders explaining their position in the matter. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the notice in question. The requirements are in my view reasonable and should not impose hardship upon individual householders.

Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne

Will my right hon. and gallent Friend consider whether a little readjustment would make this demand, which is very unfair from the point of view of the householder, much easier of fulfilment, because, after all, these demands are problematical, and people do not know where they are, or how long they may be under notice?

Captain Crookshank

The object of the warning is to give people notice that in certain circumstances they might have to put up with people being billeted upon them.

Mr. Stephen

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman put the notice in the OFFICIAL REPORT, so that other hon. Members who are interested may see it?

Captain Crookshank

Yes, Sir; I have no objection.

Following is a copy of the Notice:




Occupier of


THIS NOTICE IS TO GIVE YOU PRELIMINARY WARNING that in certain circumstances it may become necessary to require you to provide, in the premises above-mentioned, accommodation for persons (in general. Civil Servants). Should it be decided to require this accommodation, a Billeting Notice will be served upon you under Regulation 22 of the Defence Regulations, 1939, and every endeavour will be made to give you as long notice as possible. Circumstances, however, may arise under which it will not be practicable to give you more than twenty-four hours' notice, and it has therefore been thought desirable to notify you of this possibility in advance.


Billeting Officer authorised by the Minister of Health."

60. Mr. W. H. Green

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that financial hardship is being experienced by many lower-paid grades in the Civil Service who have been evacuated and are now being stopped, in some cases, 21s. per week for billeting costs, leaving them to pay for a number of meals in addition; and as many of these civil servants, particularly girls whose salaries range from 30s. to 50s. per week, have to meet the cost of fares, and have normally made certain contributions weekly to the home, he will consider some reduction in the stoppage from wages of the present billeting payments?

Captain Crookshank

The payment of 21s. a week to the billetor covers lodging, breakfast and either a mid-day or evening meal. After an initial period of a fortnight non-householders, that is in general single persons, are required to repay this sum to their Department. It has, however, been agreed with the staff side of the National Whitley Council that there are certain categories of persons who, though technically non-householders, can properly be treated more on the lines laid down for householders. In addition it has been provided that the repayment to the Department by persons, whose wages do not exceed 35s. a week, shall be 14s. a week or less and proposals for a further reduction in the amount of this repayment in the case of civil servants in receipt of less than 35s. a week are at present under discussion with the staff side.

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