HC Deb 28 October 1919 vol 120 cc510-2W

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether the premises at the corner of Cavendish Street and Town Hall Square, in Keighley, were taken over last year by his Department for Government purposes; whether the tenants were expropriated, despite the greatest amount of inconvenience, by Christmas, 1918; whether the premises were acquired for the purposes of a Labour Exchange; whether they have been used for this purpose this year, and to what extent; and, if not, what reasons have stood in the way; whether, during the year, the local Labour Exchange has been paying fox accommodation in other buildings when the premises already referred to were empty; what is the cost to date of the commandeering of these buildings; what is the expected additional liability; and what is to he the future of the premises?


The answer to the first, third and sixth parts of the question is in the affirmative. The premises in Cavendish Street were originally hired (not commandeered) for the purposes of the Ministry of Labour. I have no knowledge of any difficulties with the tenants, with whom the landlord alone was concerned. The upper part was first occupied in October, 1918, but as possession of the lower part of the premises could not be obtained till April last, and the Ministry, as the result of the Armistice, had to employ a large staff for payment of out-of-work donation, the Temperance Institute had to be hired at £9 9s. per week (inclusive of all charges) to accommodate the staff. The answer to the last two parts of the question is dependent upon the future policy of the Ministry of Labour, which, I understand, is now, under consideration.