HC Deb 20 February 1941 vol 369 cc302-3W
Sir J. Mellor

asked the Minister of Health what instructions he has given to local authorities as to payment in respect of occupation and dilapidations where houses are requisitioned for re-housing purposes?

Mr. E. Brown

The necessary directions concerning these matters are contained in the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a circular relating to procedure which was sent to local authorities.

Sir J. Mellor

asked the Minister of Health whether, in instructing local authorities to requisition empty houses for re-housing purposes, he will direct them to postpone so long as other vacant accommodation is available requisitioning the houses of those householders who have had temporarily to move elsewhere in the course of civil or military duty and to ensure that, where the house of such a householder has been requisitioned, possession shall be restored to the householder at his request as soon as he is able to resume occupation of the house?

Mr. Brown

As my hon. Friend will appreciate there is great difficulty in obtaining the accommodation required for many public purposes and it would be contrary to the public interest to restrict unduly the exercise by local authorities of their powers. I assume, however, that the houses which my hon. Friend has in mind will normally have been left furnished, and I have made it clear to local authorities that such houses should be requisitioned only when other accommodation has been exhausted. Local authorities would doubtless give sympathetic consideration, whenever circumstances permit, to such a case as that referred to in the last part of the Question.