HC Deb 25 January 1940 vol 356 cc795-6W
Sir R. Gower

asked the First Commissioner of Works the approximate number of cases of requisitioned buildings, regarding which the Government is arguing that London office rentals slumped immediately on the outbreak of war, and that, therefore, compensation in regard to rent is only to be fixed at an amount payable under the Compensation Defence Act, 1939, upon the basis of such slumped rentals, which do not represent the real rental values; and whether he is aware of the bitter feeling which exists at what is regarded as exploitation?

Mr. Ramsbotham

Thirty-six sets of office premises, in 13 different buildings, have been requisitioned by my Department in inner London under the Defence Regulations. Compensation in respect of office buildings, as of other requisitioned properties, is governed by the terms of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939. This Act provides that rental compensation shall be assessed at a sum equal to the rent which might reasonably be expected to be payable by a tenant in occupation under a lease granted immediately before the beginning of the period of requisitioning. I cannot agree that this constitutes exploitation.