HC Deb 11 May 1962 vol 659 cc88-90W
Captain Kerby

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking to ensure that in future he does not find himself in breach of a formal legal agreement entered into with a member of the public, as he is at present with Mrs. Olive Cuthbert of Southwick, Sussex; and what action he is taking to give Mrs. Cuthbert immediate vacant possession of her cottage, in accordance with the proper and formal notice received from her to terminate the letting agreement on 4th May.

Mr. Profumo

It has not been possible to give Mrs. Cuthbert vacant possession of her cottage on the due date because the present occupant has refused to leave it. As my hon. Friend explained in his letter of 3rd May, proceedings are being taken in the courts for an eviction order, and on the terms of that order will depend the date on which the cottage can be vacated. I much regret the inconvenience caused to Mrs. Cuthbert and will of course give full consideration to her claim for consequential damages if she wishes to make one.

Cases of this sort are extremely rare, and every effort is made to prevent their occurrence, but since my Department is bound by the statutes about eviction in the same way as a private landlord, it is impossible to guarantee that no similar difficulty can ever arise.