§ 32. Mr. Martin
asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the shortage of working-class accommodation in many areas, he will consider prohibiting the alienation of any such accommodation from its present purposes except under the certificate of the local authority?
§ Mr. E. Brown
A local authority has power to billet compulsorily and to requisition premises for the accommodation of such categories of persons as evacuated mothers and children, families rendered homeless by bombing, and transferred war workers, and I do not consider that my hon. Friend's suggestion, which would be difficult to administer, is necessary. If, however, he will let me have particulars of any difficulties which have come to his notice, I will be happy to have inquiries made.
§ 36. Mr. R. C. Morrison
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that hardship is being caused to many owners of small dwellings whose property has been requisitioned for housing homeless persons by delay in determining the rent to be paid, and thereafter, by payment on a scale inadequate to meet building society payments; and will he investigate the position with a view to speeding up decisions of district valuers and permitting local authorities to pay rent which will meet the commitments of the owner in respect of his property?
§ Mr. Brown
As my hon. Friend will appreciate, district valuers are at present working under great pressure but I am assured that the need for speed in dealing with the valuation of requisitioned premises is fully recognised and everything possible is done to avoid unnecessary delays. Advances on account of compensation can be and are made where the final settlement is likely to be unduly delayed. If my hon. Friend will send me particulars, I shall be glad to examine any cases he has in mind. The amount of compensation is governed by the terms of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939.