My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
The Question was as follows:
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will give a direction under Section 19 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 to the National Tourist Boards that where the proprietors of a hotel have vacated or sold their existing premises and rebuilt on another site claiming the appropriate grant under Section 7, no further grant under Section 7 will be payable in respect of any new hotel development on the original site other than for additions for thirty years or other period thought more appropriate so protecting the public from paying what amounts to double grant on such additional accommodation as may have been provided on the two sites taken together.
My Lords, a grant may be claimed under Section 7 in respect of expenditure incurred in providing a new hotel as defined in the Act, and I know of no reason why the purchaser of a hotel should be deprived of a grant under this section simply because the seller has rebuilt on another site with the aid of a grant under Section 7. In such a case there will be no question of the Government's paying twice over for the same accommodation.
My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he is quite sure that he has really understood the Question, which could have relevance to new development such as is happening in the borough of Kensington at this time? I do not want to pursue a narrow 1340 point, but I should like to ask him to look into this whole question again to ensure that the public does not pay twice over for the same benefit.
My Lords, we do not believe that there are any instances where the Government have paid, or will be likely to pay, twice over for the same benefit. If my noble friend has any evidence of this I should be grateful if he would draw it to my attention. I would only add that the Development of Tourism Act 1969 gives an entitlement to grant if a project otherwise meets the requirement of the Act. The Act contains no power for the Minister to give directions to the Tourist Board which would curtail an entitlement to grant.