HC Deb 13 June 1966 vol 729 cc1031-2
35. Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

asked the hon. and learned Member for Brigg, as Second Church Estates Commissioner, what arrangements the Church Commissioners have made with the East Croydon Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wates, the builders, to evict the International Language Club from their present premises in Croydon; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

The Church Commissioners have made no arrangements for evictions. The East Croydon Estate Company, which is jointly owned by the Commissioners and Wates Ltd., own a number of properties occupied by the International Language Club. Most of the leases expired in 1964 and the sites are required for an approved residential redevelopment. Three-year extensions of leases were granted in respect of some properties and two-year extensions to 24th June, 1966, in the case of six. A further year's extension has already been arranged for three of these six properties and an extension until the end of the year has been offered for the other three.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that the International Language Club is a remarkably successful piece of international government, that it has rendered great service over nearly 30 years to thousands of students from overseas, that in recent times it has been a victim of Rachmanism at its worst, that its founder Mr. Driscoll was nearly beaten to death in his bed two or three years ago and that there have been mysterious fires in the club's properties? Will he consult Mr. Driscoll and myself about what can be done to help this club to carry on its work?

Mr. Mallalieu

My right hon. Friend can be assured that everything I can do to assist such international work as he says has been carried out by this club will be done, and that I will most certainly consult him.

Mr. Winnick

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that, in consultation with the Church Commissioners, I have arranged for a six months' extension to the end of the year? Is he aware that while there is much gratitude on the part of the students that they are not to be thrown out, there is still a very strong feeling that the Church Commissioners, with all their money, could try to build a new hostel for the students? Would he use his considerable persuasion on the Church Commissioners to try to get this new hostel built in the near future?

Mr. Mallalieu

The Church Commissioners will, of course, consider any proposal which is put to them, but their main object is to provide funds for the payment of stipends for the clergy of the Church of England.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. Even the Church Commissioners must be brief.