HC Deb 24 October 1944 vol 404 cc10-1
24. Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

asked the Secretary of State for War how many dwelling houses, requisitioned for the use of his Department, were standing empty on 1st October; and whether he has any statement to make about their derequisitioning.

Sir J. Grigg

At one time and another my Department has had to requisition something well over 200,000 properties. It would I think take more time and labour than could easily be justified to collect the figures the hon. and gallant Member seeks. Derequisitioning is, however, going on throughout the country as fast as circumstances and the staff available permit. I have personally given orders that so far as dwelling-houses are concerned at any rate the work is to be accelerated to the maximum possible extent.

Sir Irving Albery

Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that, where houses are no longer occupied, adequate steps are being taken to prevent further damage occurring, pending derequisition?

Sir J. Grigg

That is a different question, and I would be glad if my hon. Friend would put it down.

Mr. Thorne

Are any of these unoccupied houses in constituencies where there is a great shortage of houses?

Sir J. Grigg

I cannot answer that question offhand, but I have not the slightest doubt that some of them are. I know that my Department are in constant touch with Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, and have released a great deal of accommodation.