§ Commander Noble
asked the President of the Board of Trade the names of the four hotels arranged to be derequisitioned and which the hotels industry is not willing to take over.
Mr. H. Wilson
In March, 1950, the Board of Trade had its attention drawn to seven Civil Service hostels occupying premises in Central London which, prior to requisition, had been hotels. In consultation with the other Departments concerned and the British Travel and Holidays Association, we considered whether any of these buildings might be converted into tourist hotels, and other hostel accommodation secured for the present residents.
An inspection showed that it would be possible to rehabilitate four of the seven hostels without undue difficulty; the others would have required extensive structural alterations to make them suitable as hotels for overseas visitors. The four premises were the Hazelcourt Hotel, 22, Courtfield Gardens, Earls Court; the Belvedere Hotel, Granvill Place, and 10, Emperor's Gate, S.W.7; the Uffington House Hotel, 13–16, Craven Hill Gardens, W.2; the Queen's Gate Hotel, 96–98, Queen's Gate, S.W.7. The Board of Trade asked the British Travel and Holidays Association to assess the likelihood of these premises being reopened as hotels if they were derequisitioned. The Association reported that the owners' agents know of no hotel-keepers who wanted to take over these former hotels and our other inquiries gave the same result.
Had any hotel-keepers been willing to take over these four premises we should have carried on with the arrangements for their release from requisition. As no hotel-keepers came forward the matter was dropped. The London Hostels Association are now negotiating with the owners of the premises to take them on lease. If these negotiations are successful, the Ministry of Health requisition will be terminated.