HC Deb 02 November 1943 vol 393 cc513-4
40. Major Leighton

asked the Secretary of State for War whether buildings erected on land requisitioned by his Department will be cleared away before handing back the land to the owner?

Sir J. Grigg

The Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, prescribes only an obligation to pay compensation in respect of the cost of reinstatement, and in general I regret that I am unable to give any guarantee on the method by which reinstatement will be carried out during or after the war. Where, however, the removal of works serves an essential wartime purpose, for example, by restoring the land to food production, every effort is made to do it.

Major Petherick

Are we to understand that it is possible that the War Office might well erect immense Moorish castles and then leave it to the owners of the land to clear them away?

Mr. Gallacher

Why should the War Office hand back the land to the robber landowners instead of to the people to whom it belongs?

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Why should not the land be handed back to the legitimate owners?