§ Mr. Temple
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has yet made a decision with regard to the future of Eaton Hall, near Chester.
§ Mr. Soames
After examining all possibilities it became evident that neither the War Department nor other Departments could make any good and economical use of Eaton Hall in the future. So negotiations were entered into with the Grosvenor Estate to agree a figure for the surrender of the lease. This lease was arranged in 1946 for 99 years with a break at 50 years, so there was a further 36 years yet to run with a rent and maintenance bill of around £27,000 a year.
In addition, the Estate had a heavy claim for war-time and post-war dilapidations. Agreement has been reached with the Estate to terminate the lease from the 31st March, 1960, subject to a payment by the War Office of £200,000, covering all claims.