HC Deb 22 April 1959 vol 604 cc383-4
33. Mr. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association are evicting their tenant, the widow of a former employee, from the flat at 13, Northbourne Road, Clapham, and that the Secretary of the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association refuses to allow more time to enable this lady to find other accommodation, on the ground that the flat is wanted for married quarters, although there is a flat in the same house unoccupied for many months; and whether he will make enquiries into this matter and arrange that this widow shall be allowed to stay in the flat until she is able to find other accommodation.

Mr. H. Fraser

Mrs. Metcalfe has lived rent-free in this flat since February, 1957. Now that the other apartment is vacant, the whole house is to be handed over to the Regular Army for use as married quarters. The legal process to obtain possession will, therefore, begin after 30th April, but my right hon. Friend is prepared to delay enforcement until September when I understand that the local housing authorities will consider the application which Mrs. Metcalfe has already made. I must make it clear that there can be no extension beyond that.

Mr. Gibson

While expressing appreciation of the last part of that reply, may I ask, if in September the local borough council is unable to provide accommodation, as it has already indicated it may not be able, whether the hon. Gentleman will see that this lady, who is not in the least responsible for the situation which has been created, is given more time, if necessary, to find other accommodation? She is prepared to take other accommodation if she can find it.

Mr. Fraser

I am afraid I cannot give the indefinite undertaking for which the hon. Gentleman asks. We have already given an extension and, as the hon. Gentleman is aware, this lady has been living rent-free for more than two years.