HC Deb 21 December 1944 vol 406 cc1991-3W
Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Secretary of State for War how many premises in Weymouth and district are now requisitioned by his Department; how many are now occupied; and whether he will release a proportion of those unoccupied at an early date.

Sir J. Grigg

The number of premises now under requisition by the War Department in the Weymouth Urban District Council area is 229. One hundred and forty-one of these are at present empty. They must, I regret, be retained to meet future military requirements.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for War how long the present policy of requisitioning blocks of property for accommodation without occupying them is to continue; and if he will release a substantial number of houses that have been empty for a year or more in the North Wales area, in view of the urgent need of housing accommodation.

Sir J. Grigg

Unoccupied accommodation is retained on requisition by the War Department to meet known future commitments or to provide a reserve for sudden unforeseen contingencies. I regret the necessity to do this and as little accommodation as possible is so retained. As far as I am aware four houses in North Wales have been empty for more than a year, and they cannot at present be given up.

Mr. Granville

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Miss Mayhew, of Redgrave, has not been adequately compensated for repairs and loss of rent, due to her property being requisitioned and damage caused by troops in occupation of the requisitioned premises; and if he will take steps to compensate her fully.

Sir J. Grigg

Compensation for damage to the requisitioned premises falls to be assessed in accordance with Section 2 (1) (b) of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, and I am advised that the offer made to her is fair and reasonable within the terms of that Act. If she considers it inadequate she is, of course, at liberty to refer her claim to the General Claims Tribunal. A claim for damage done on unrequisitioned property is being considered, and I understand that the claimant's agent has been invited to discuss it.

Brigadier-General Clifton Brown

asked the Secretary of State for War whether housing property requisitioned for the Home Guard can now be given up and returned to the owners who, on many estates, require it back for housing their employees.

Sir J. Grigg

I am hopeful that it will in most cases be possible to relinquish the requisition on these buildings. But in some cases it may be necessary to retain them for other Government uses.