HC Deb 24 July 1956 vol 557 cc185-6
12. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of requisitioned houses in Germany occupied by British Service men's families.

Mr. Head

About 2,550, including all three Services.

Mr. Fernyhough

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on 15th June, the Bundesrat made it clear that this property was available to Allied forces, which include British forces, only until, at the latest, 31st December this year? Does that mean that, therefore, we have to construct about 2,000 houses? Will the cost of those 2,000 houses come out of the £34 million which the Germans are going to allow us in support costs, or will the cost be borne by the Germans additionally? If we build the houses and pay for them, what happens if we withdraw our forces from Germany?

Mr. Head

This was foreseen some considerable time ago. There were well over 4,000 houses, and we have already disposed of 2,000. We shall aim at disposing in the near future of another 2,000, and then move into quarters built at German cost previously. We shall probably retain, if they are needed, about 500, on long leases, if that can be negotiated with the owners.