HC Deb 20 April 1972 vol 835 cc732-3
9. Mr. Woodnutt

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will increase the amount of compensation offered to Mr. Sidney E. Melleney in respect of property at 80 Percy Road, Hampton, until lately occupied by the Army, in view of the condition in which the property was left on the termination of the tenancy.

Mr. G. Johnson Smith

No, Sir. The offer has already been increased since I last wrote to my hon. Friend about this case and there are no grounds to justify any further increase. The condition of the property when we terminated the tenancy has been fully taken into account. In the interest of reaching a settlement Mr. Melleney has already received a generous offer, which he has rejected.

Mr. Woodnutt

Does not my hon. Friend realise that this appears to be a case where the officers responsible refuse to admit that the NCO and his wife who occupied the property left it in a dirty, disgraceful and neglected condition? Is my hon. Friend aware that the claim is a modest £309? As the Army has already lifted its original bid by £75 twice, which shows second and third thoughts, whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, would not it be cheaper to meet the claim in full?

Mr. Johnson Smith

As my hon. Friend has said, we have made serious efforts to meet the demands of his constituent. Unless there are fresh arguments that my hon. Friend or his constituent can adduce, we must let the third offer stand. I think we have been very fair to him.

Mr. Woodnutt

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of those replies. Mr. Speaker, I beg to give notice that I shall seek an early opportunity to raise the matter on the Adjournment.