HC Deb 23 November 1943 vol 393 cc1453-4W
Mr. R. Morgan

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works how many hotels have been taken over by the Government in London; what was the bedroom accommodation of such hotels; and for what they are being used?

Mr. Hicks

I am informed that the number of hotels taken over by Government Departments in London is 51, containing in all about 5,700 bedrooms. These hotels are used as hostels by the American Red Cross, the Defence Services, Canadian Auxiliary Services and British Seamen, as Service accommodation, and to house Gibraltar evacuees. Three of the hotels are used as offices for Service and other Departments. Forty hotels were vacant when taken over.

Sir I. Albery

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether he will now consider requisitioning large empty houses for Government purposes and release blocks of flats for ordinary housing requirements?

Mr. Hicks

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him on the subject on the 20th January last. The possibility of utilising large houses is continually borne in mind. As regards London in particular, apart from other considerations, the present shortage of building labour does not admit of extensive works of adaptation or repair, which would be necessary for a more general use of large houses.