HC Deb 06 April 1944 vol 398 cc2163-4
29. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many buildings or establishments built by Government. Departments for war purposes have been sold for use after the war; to what extent these transactions are subject to Treasury approval; and if he will circulate a list of the buildings disposed of together with the cost of erection and the price at which they have been sold.

Sir J. Anderson

There are very few cases where buildings or establishments built by Government Departments for war purposes have been sold for use after the war. I am arranging for a list of such cases to be compiled and I will communicate further with the hon. Member when it is available. Any cases of importance would require prior Treasury approval. There are, however, many cases in the industrial field where extensions of contractors' capacity have been financed and are owned by the Government, in respect of which a right of preemption has been accorded to the contractor for purchase of the extension if and when the Government decides to dispose of it. I assume that the hon. Member has not such cases in mind.

Mr. A. Bevan

Is it proposed to circulate the list? The right hon. Gentleman said he would communicate with my hon. Friend, but that will not give us any information. Is it proposed to circulate the list in the OFFICIAL REPORT, or in some other way.

Sir J. Anderson

I should like to have a look at the list, but my desire would be to make it available to all hon. Members interested.

Mr. Shinwell

Was not an agreement reached through the usual channels more than a year ago, that war factories would not be disposed of by the State to private concerns, without the consent of the House.

Sir J. Anderson

My recollection does not carry me to that point, but I am sure that if there is such an agreement, it will be adhered to.