44. Mr. David Adams
asked the Home Secretary whether the sites of bombed properties are cleared of buildings and debris at the public expense, or whether the ground landlords contribute towards the cost of this demolition and clearance?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
Reasonable expenditure; incurred by local authorities in the clearance of sites is reimbursed by the Exchequer. It is no part of the responsibility of local authorities to clear any site merely in the interests of the owner, but sites may have to be cleared in the interests of public safety, public health or salvage of goods or on the general ground of public interest. The question of subsequent financial adjustment with the owner or other interests concerned is a matter for the War Damage Commission.
Is it not a fact that ground landlords are not paying any contribution towards this expenditure, and is it reasonable and just that this generally prosperous section of the community should be permitted to escape such charges, particularly as they do not bear a proper proportion of taxation?
§ Mr. Morrison
Any question of financial adjustment is a matter for the War Damage Commission, and not for me.