HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc1355-7
9. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Works why the combined London office of the potato and carrot division has been moved from Imperial House, Kingsway, to Mayfair Court, Stratton Street; and what is the cost to the taxpayer of this move.

Mr. Key

The move of this office of the Ministry of Food from Imperial House to Mayfair Court will enable us to release for private use part of Imperial House now held on requisition. The cost of the move was £20.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Minister aware that the best service he could render to the public would be to refuse office accommodation for the continuation of this farcical work of the potato and carrot division of the Ministry of Food?

Mr. Key

No Sir, I am not aware of that. My function is to provide the accommodation required by other Departments.

11. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Works how many buildings are under construction in the Manchester area for use as Government offices; and how this compares with the number and size of buildings licensed by him in the same area for construction as private offices.

Mr. Key

Four buildings, of which three are temporary, are under construction in the Manchester area and will provide Government office accommodation of about 236,000 sq. ft., and a further four, providing about 22,000 sq. ft., have been completed—a total of some 258,000 sq. ft. This compares with four buildings, including damaged buildings now being reconstructed, which have been licensed for construction as private offices with an area of office space of about 207,000 sq. ft.

Mr. Erroll

Does the Minister realise that this vast extension of Government office space in the Manchester area will cause great concern to the Manchester business community, who are so desperately short of suitable office accommodation?

Mr. Key

On the contrary, it should be very welcome to the people in Manchester, because these new offices are required mainly for releasing requisitioned premises.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

Could the right hon. Gentleman give us any idea of what will be the accommodation in the requisitioned premises which these completed Government buildings will release for use by private firms?

Mr. Key

As we shall be able to bring together separated departments I should think it quite likely that more space will be released as a result of the new Government building than will be provided in the new buildings.