HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 c795
32. Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the concern felt in Edinburgh at the number of dwelling-houses suitable for the housing of homeless people by the corporation that have, with his approval, been requisitioned for use as office premises; and whether he will, in future, refrain from overruling the decisions of the town council.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Westwood)

It would be inconsistent with my position as appeal authority in the type of case which the hon. Member has no doubt in mind if I were to give any advance undertaking that I would always accept the town council's view, whatever it might happen to be. I must be free to consider each case on its merits. Edinburgh is the main centre for Government Department headquarters in Scotland, and accommodation must be found for the staffs required by the Departments.

Lieut.-Commander Hutchison

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the provision of homes for the people ought to have priority over the provision of office accommodation?

Mr. Westwood

I have taken every factor into consideration, but it ought to be obvious to everyone that I must get accommodation for the Government staffs necessary to carry on the work of the country.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Could not the right hon. Gentleman reduce the staffs?