HC Deb 12 March 1951 vol 485 cc1036-7
6. Mr. Hugh Fraser

asked the Minister of Supply whether he proposes to proceed with the eviction of Mr. James and Mr. Dixon and their families from his Department's housing estate at Stone, in view of the fact that both men were until lately in his employ, and that despite his request the local authority is unable to provide them with alternative accommodation.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Yes, Sir. Mr. James and Mr. Dixon occupied these bungalows as serving members of the War Department Constabulary. They have now resigned and the accommodation is urgently needed for their successors. Mr. James has in fact vacated his bungalow.

Mr. Fraser

Surely the Minister is aware that these tied cottages, which is what they amount to, are more than four miles away from the point of work, and that in recent local proceedings the judge went so far as to say that if it had not been Crown property he would not have given an eviction order? Is the Minister further aware that of the 16 houses only six are used by his own employees? Surely Mr. Dixon should be allowed to remain, since he has a son overseas who has served in Singapore and elsewhere?

Mr. Strauss

For security reasons it is absolutely essential that we should have the requisite number of constabulary to look after this Royal Ordnance Factory. There is no other place where we can put them, and therefore, although I much regret it, it is essential that we should get this accommodation.

Mr. Harrison

Will my right hon. Friend, by an example, strike a blow at this most distressing side of the tied cottage question and press local authorities to permit such people as these to go on their local lists before they are actually turned into the street?

Mr. Strauss

Yes, we approached the local authorities and asked if they could help to find accommodation for these people.

Mr. Fraser

Surely it is utterly absurd to have security police living five miles away from the factory they are guarding? The whole argument breaks down. Surely something can be done about that?