HC Deb 01 February 1945 vol 407 cc1622-4
41. Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that under Circular No. 134–44 issued by his Department and dated 4th October, 1944, local authorities are making offers of compensation of £1 per annum per site upon which temporary houses are being erected; and will he take steps to see that this injustice is discontinued forthwith.

Mr. Willink

Yes, Sir. Compensation in cases of requisitioning for emergency hutments falls to be assessed in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 (1a) of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, and in the event of disagreement as to the amount of compensation, the claimant is entitled to refer the matter to the general claims tribunal for determination.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Are local authorities compelled to acquire the land that they require? Why is there a distinction be- tween temporary houses and permanent houses?

Mr. Willink

My hon. Friend is under a considerable misapprehension. Land can be acquired or leased either for permanent or temporary houses. The facts set out in his Question relate to the emergency hutments, which are not to last for more than a year or two.

62. Mr. Silkin

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that land being used for allotments and other cultivated land is being requisitioned for temporary housing by his Department without opportunity being given to gather crops or produce; and whether he will, wherever possible, give adequate notice before taking possession.

Mr. Willink

Local authorities have already been instructed to give the fullest possible notice to allotment-holders of their intention to requisition sites for emergency hutments which are in use for allotments. If my hon. Friend will let me have particulars of any case of difficulty he has in mind, I will have inquiries made.

Mr. Silkin

Is the Minister not aware I have already given him particulars?

Mr. Willink

They have not come to my notice yet, but I will certainly look into them.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Why cannot the Minister be more definite and say there must be 12 months' notice at least, as is the case for smallholders?

Mr. Willink

That would be quite impossible in the case of these emergency hutments, which are needed in areas of great devastation.

Sir Ralph Glyn

Will my right hon. and learned Friend say that allotments will not be taken, if he can possibly get an alternative site?

Mr. Willink

This Question applies entirely to the requisitioning of land for emergency hutments, which only arises in a few closely built-up, and heavily devastated areas.

67. Mr. Walter Edwards

asked the Minister of Health why his Ministry has refused the application of the Stepney Borough Council for permission to dry out temporary hutments before occupation.

Mr. Willink

I regret there has been some misunderstanding in this matter. The borough council have now been given the necessary permission.

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