HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 c2079
70. Sir T. Moore

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of civil servants connected with his Department who have now returned to London from the provinces; and whether he will consider extending this policy so as to relieve local housing conditions in the provincial towns?

Sir J. Grigg

Of the War Office staff originally evacuated to the provinces, 492 military personnel and 1,497 civilians have since returned to London. While there is some administrative inconvenience in having certain War Office branches in provincial towns, the lack of suitable accommodation in London for the numbers involved alone makes it undesirable to bring these branches back.

Sir T. Moore

In view of the great difficulties which local authorities have experienced in the provinces in finding sufficient accommodation for various types of people who are now there, would it not be possible to utilise some of the big empty houses in London, of which there are many available, to accommodate the War Office staff?

Sir J. Grigg

Oddly enough, all that has been considered.