§ 2.53 p.m.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government, what is the number of hotels which are in occupation by Government Departments, and the number of beds thus 579 taken from their normal usage; also what is the number of hotels in this country being occupied by the various Services of the Allied Forces and the number of beds involved; what action the Government has taken and is taking to free the hotels and to see that rehabilitation is carried out without delay in the interests of the nation's tourist industry.]
§ LORD AMMON
My Lords, the number of hotels, including boarding houses of the larger type, in occupation by Government Departments is 2,699. Of this total 137 are in occupation by the various Services of the Allied Forces. Information as to the number of beds is not available and could not be ascertained without an expenditure of time and trouble which would not be justified. The importance of releasing hotels in the interests of the tourist industry is fully recognized, and every effort is being made to do so, consistently with Government needs and the necessity of releasing accommodation of higher priority, such as houses and schools. The importance of bringing back hotels into use as soon as possible is also recognized, and licences to carry out the minimum amount of work necessary for the purpose are granted so far as labour can be made available in the particular locality.
§ LORD HACKING
My Lords, whilst thanking the noble Lord for the answer that he has just given, may I ask that he will bear in mind the necessity for handing back the equipment of hotels which has been taken away during the time that these premises have been commandeered; and will he see to it that that equipment is handed back in the same condition as that in which-it was when commandeered?