HC Deb 16 November 1948 vol 458 cc178-9
10. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War how many applications have been made for the eviction of ex-Service men and their families from Army premises; how many have been granted; and how many cases have there been of forcible ejection.

Mr. Shinwell

Since the end of the war it has been decided in 58 cases that application should be made for a warrant for possession in enforcement of orders for possession granted against ex-Service men in occupation of War Department quarters. There have been 23 cases of actual eviction. These figures do not include married quarters belonging to Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Associations.

Mr. Hughes

In view of the hardship inflicted on ex-soldiers with over 20 years' experience, through being evicted with their families into the rain, would the Minister definitely consider the suggestion that in case of future evictions they should be given accommodation in tents or temporary shelter?

Mr. Shinwell

In the first instance, we give very long notice even after ejectment orders have been secured in the courts and, in conjunction with the local authorities concerned, we do everything possible to find alternative accommodation, but if we fail we must have regard to the members of the Forces who require accommodation.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

In this particular case, the local authority deny any responsibility whatsoever for these people. Should not the War Office assume responsibility for the men who have served during the whole period of their adult lives? How will this help recruiting?

Mr. Shinwell

The War Office is responsible only for its employees, not for those who have been employed by it.