HC Deb 11 November 1958 vol 595 c168
6. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Works what action he is taking to move Government offices from expensive accommodation in the West End of London to cheaper accommodation elsewhere.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Hugh Molson)

Most of the accommodation held by the Department in the West End of London is held on long leases and it is my policy when a lease is about to run out and cannot be renewed except at a marked increase in rent, to seek cheaper premises elsewhere. I would instance the prospective move of the Ministry of Transport from Berkeley Square House to Surrey House, Southwark; the move of part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Headquarters from Soho Square to Horseferry Road and of the National Assistance Board Headquarters from Old Burlington Street to accommodation in Holborn. In pursuance of the same policy, I am removing the Supplies Division of my own Department to Southwark which will enable us to surrender a property in Horseferry Road where on renewal the rent would be substantially increased.

Mr. Lipton

While thanking the Minister for that evidence of common sense, may I ask him if he will keep an eye on the Ministry of Education in Curzon Street and the Ministry of Health in Savile Row with a view to moving them to some cheaper accommodation elsewhere, thus saving a lot of money and also reducing traffic congestion in the West End?

Mr. Molson

I will keep an eye on all that falls within my responsibilities.

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