HC Deb 08 November 1939 vol 353 cc196-7
21. Mr. De la Bere

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he will make some declaration as regards the hotels in various spas throughout the country that have not been requisitioned, but have been warned to reserve accommodation, which will enable these hotels to take guests for Christmas without fear of being turned out?

Mr. Ramsbotham

Apart from three hotels with whom special arrangements have been made, no hotel other than those already requisitioned has been warned by my Department to reserve accommodation. Accordingly, although it is not possible for me to give a definite undertaking that no such contingency may arise which would make it necessary to take further action, I see no reason at present why the hotels to which my hon. Friend refers should not take guests at Christmas.

Mr. De la Bere

Will my right hon. Friend assist by letting it be known that the treatment at the Drcitwich Brine Baths is available now, during Christmas and for the duration of the war, and that every opportunity exists for visitors and would-be patients to enjoy their Christmas there and take the cure at the same time?

Mr. Ramsbotham

I hope that the answer I have given will go some way to bring about that desirable result.

Mr. Lawson

Will this be available to the troops now living in tents?

22 and 23. Mr. De la Bere

asked the First Commissioner of Works (1) whether, in connection with the Compensation (Defence) Act, he will take steps to permit of immediate provisional payment being made on account, such payment to be without prejudice to the final settlement;

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that the hotel proprietors who have had their hotel accommodation requisitioned by the Government have some immediate cash payment made to them to enable them to carry on in view of the ambiguity which exists over the full compensation claim?

Mr. Ramsbotham

The prescribed claim forms were sent out over three weeks ago, and each recipient was notified at the same time that I was prepared to make payments on account as soon as the claims were received, without prejudice to any final settlement. Obviously I cannot make such payments on account until the claims have been submitted and an indication given to me of the amounts involved.

Mr. Lipson

Will my right hon. Friend see that such payments are of a substantial nature?

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