HC Deb 26 January 1954 vol 522 cc1578-9
8. Major Anstruther-Gray

asked the Minister of Works to give figures to show what reduction there has been over the last 12 months in the amount of requisitioned property held by his Department in Scotland; and whether he will forecast the date by which all such property will have been returned to its owners.

Sir D. Eccles

During the last 12 months, the total area of buildings and land derequisitioned by my Department in Scotland was 186,128 square feet and 243 acres, respectively. I am anxious to release all requisitioned property held by my Department, but I cannot yet say by what date the process will be completed.

Major Anstruther-Gray

Would my right hon. Friend care to make a guess at the date? Will it be in a year's time, or two years, or how soon?

Sir D. Eccles

I think the only useful information that I can give to my hon. and gallant Friend is that I hope that a further 180,000 sq. ft. and a further 180 acres will be released this year. There are now nearly 400,000 sq. ft. and 790 acres left on requisition, so that we are getting on.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the Minister aware that many of the offices occupied by his Department in Edinburgh are in a type of building which is now becoming vacant, and that a great many of these places are empty? Is he not aware that it might be a considerable waste to build new buildings in order to vacate property which will become empty and simply an eyesore to the public?

Sir D. Eccles

If the right hon. Gentleman will let me have details of empty office buildings in Edinburgh, I should be much obliged.