§ 15. Mr. William Teeling
asked the Minister of Works what is his policy as regards the requisitioning of shops and parts of stores as offices by Government Departments; whether he is aware that one Ministry has used large floor space in a Brighton store since 1940, causing considerable loss to this store; and whether he will make arrangements to transfer this burden to some other firm or to the local borough.
§ Mr. Key
It is my policy to restrict requisitioning of vacant accommodation to the minimum and I should only requisition occupied premises in the most exceptional circumstances. This applies to shops and stores as to other premises. I am aware that the Brighton Food Office is still in part of a Brighton store and I am anxious to move it elsewhere as soon as suitable vacant premises can be found.
§ Mr. Teeling
Does the right hon. Gentleman really think that it is British fair play to have landed this one particular business, since 1940, with all the expenses of the cost and loss arising out of having the Ministry of Food there? Does he not think that the question of finding other premises which are suitable is a matter for urgent decision, because there are other borough premises which could be used? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the matter and take a more active interest in it?
§ Mr. Teeling
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that they are not required for other purposes for a year or two? Surely the Ministry of Food does not intend to remain there indefinitely.