§ Mr. Channon
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the lack of housing accommodation for ex-Service persons in Southend-on-Sea, owing to the number of properties in that borough still under requisition by his Department; and whether he can give a definite undertaking to release these properties before the end of the current year and to return the properties even without repair if the prospective tenants indicate that they are willing themselves to accept the responsibility of restoring the properties.
§ Mr. Lawson
It is hoped that the majority of the 350 small houses which remain under requisition in Southend-on-Sea will be released by the end of this year. There are also a few large houses still under requisition in the borough: these fall to be dealt with later.
Mr. De la Bère
asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that there are still a substantial number of small and large houses standing empty which are requisitioned by his Department and which are suitable for homes and schools, he will accelerate the process of derequisitioning these, having regard to the urgent need for additional accommodation.
§ Mr. Lawson
I am well aware of the urgent need for additional accommodation and the process of derequisitioning has already been accelerated. Priority is given to the release of small houses, a fact which may, in some cases, cause delay in the final derequisitioning of larger houses, owing to the limited staff available for both tasks. If the hon. Member will give me details of any large house held by the War Department which is empty and suitable as a school, I will look into the case.