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Alexandra Park (Government Occupation)

Volume 155: debated on Monday 12 June 1922

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asked the hon. Member for the Pollok Division of Glasgow, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, what is the reason for the delay in the settlement of the claim which the Alexandra Park trustees formulated in 1919 in respect of the War-time occupation of this public property by the Government; and when the matter will be closed, so that the palace may be restored to the public use?

As the answer to this question is of considerable length, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The answer is as follows:

I am not aware that any formal claim in respect of reinstatement was put forward by the Alexandra Palace trustees in 1919. When the War Office vacated the premises in that year, a schedule of dilapidations was drawn up, but as the Office of Works had in the meantime taken possession of the building, it was agreed to defer consideration of the question until their occupation should have ceased. The palace was vacated in portions on various dates, starting on the 30th July, 1921, and ending the first week in February of this year. The claim for reinstatement was made on the 18th October, 1921, and advances totalling £11,000 were made on the 21st October and the 2nd February last. These advances were made with the object of enabling the trustees to proceed at once with the reinstatement of their property, but I gather from the report of their last annual meeting that of this amount £9,000 still remains on deposit with their bankers. The larger part of the claim, which is a very extensive and complicated one, has been agreed in principle, but there are still some items on which it has not yet been possible to reach agreement.