HC Deb 18 August 1919 vol 119 cc1934-5W

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the special recruiting department of the Admiralty is still in occupation of the premises in Old Scotland Yard; whether special recruiting for the Navy has ceased since the surrender of the German Fleet; whether the owner of the premises in Old Scotland Yard lent his premises, which are rated at £700 a year, to the Admiralty free of rent; and whether the Admiralty will return the premises without delay to their owner?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In this connection I would invite my hon. and gallant friend's attention to the reply given by the First Commissioner of Works to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Stafford on the 5th June, in which the right hon. Gentleman stated that he was making every possible effort to rehouse the Admiralty recruiting staff, but that the matter is a most difficult one, and he regretted it was not possible to state when the Great Scotland Yard premises would be vacated.

With regard to the second part of the question, recruiting for the permanent Navy cannot be entirely closed down, and convenient premises are very necessary. There is now no "special" recruiting, and the premises are used to house the normal peace recruiting staff. The arrangements for Government Offices in London are made by His Majesty's Office of Works, and the Admiralty have no direct relations with the owners of the property used.

It must be understood that the Admiralty Recruiting Headquarters have for many years past been in Whitehall, and the Admiralty consented to remove from their permanent premises to meet the pressing need of the Ministry of Munitions. The Admiralty are most anxious to vacate the temporary offices to which the recruiting staff were transferred as soon as their former quarters or other convenient offices are ready for them.