HC Deb 01 May 1950 vol 474 cc1390-1
20. Mr. Gammans

asked the Minister of Works how many licences have been issued for blocks of offices in the London area to be occupied by the Government under the Lessor Scheme; what is the capital sum involved; and how many similar licences have been granted for office accommodation for non-Governmental use during the same period, and to what value.

Mr. Stokes

Since August, 1947, 40 licences to the total value of £10,137,470 have been granted for offices for Lessor Building Schemes. In the same period, about 275 licences, to the total value of some £6,300,000, have been granted for office accommodation for non-Governmental use.

Mr. Gammans

In view of the great shortage of offices in London, is it not time that a greater percentage of these licences was given to non-Government offices?

Mr. Stokes

I know there is that view, but I must point out to the hon. Gentleman that the figures I have given exclude any licences for a sum of less than £5,000. It is only a direct comparison of the bigger schemes, as the Question asked. There is a considerable amount of office accommodation made available which costs less.

Mr. Driberg

While welcoming the assent of my right hon. Friend a minute ago to the proposition that there is widespread concern about the poor quality of design of these buildings, may I ask if he will consult with the Minister of Town and Country Planning to see what can be done to prevent the further defacement of London?

Mr. Stokes

I have that constantly in mind, I can assure my hon. Friend.