HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1292-3W
Sir R. Gower

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether, in view of the large sums of money which are being spent in rehousing civil servants in different parts of the country, there is any long-term policy in existence for the future of the Civil Service Departments as a whole; and whether, instead of spending large sums of money on temporary structures, he will take over and adapt for permanent use, if such be required, buildings already in existence in different parts of the country?

Mr. Ramsbotham

A long-term scheme for providing more Government offices in the provinces was under consideration before the outbreak of war. The difference between present conditions and those which may prevail after the war render it premature to attempt to settle definitely now permanent dispositions for post-war governmental activities.

Sir T. Moore

asked the First Commissioner of Works why civil servants must be migrated to districts over 200 miles from London, when reception areas for all sorts of evacuees are officially regarded as being within less than 20 miles of Charing Cross?

Mr. Ramsbotham

Main factors in the housing of civilian refugees are the safety of the areas and the availability of billets. The location of Government Departments requires in addition,inter alia, numbers of big buildings suitable for the office accommodation of very large aggregates of staffs.