§ VISCOUNT ULLSWATER
My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government whether any Government Departments are still in occupation of private houses taken over during the war, and if so, of how many, and for what purposes, and what rent is being paid, and when will they be returned to their owners.
THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (THE EARL OF CRAWFORD)
My Lords, I assume that my noble friend refers only to private houses requisitioned during the war under D.O.R.A., and that he does not wish to include houses acquired in the open market. I have accordingly had a list prepared which I will hand to the noble Viscount—it is rather long—and from which he will see that the Admiralty still retain two such houses, one of which will be surrendered at the end of this month, and the other probably within the next six months. As regards my own Department, the Office of Works, there are only three private houses in London still retained under D.O.R.A., out of a total of 180 originally acquired. Two of these houses will be surrendered during the next few weeks. The remaining house is occupied by a local pensions committee and will be released as soon as alternative accommodation is available.
I am sorry to say that the War Office has been unable hitherto to furnish me with a complete list without reference to the commands, but I am informed that in 626 August of last year there were twenty-six private houses occupied under D.O.R.A., involving a total rental of £3,600. This number has since been reduced, and every endeavour is being made to surrender the remainder before the end of the present year. The Air Ministry are in occupation of twelve private houses, all of which, however, are being purchased for permanent use.