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Requisitioned Properties (Repairs)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will call the special attention of requisitioning Departments to their liability to carry out proper maintenance of the properties requisitioned by them, and impress upon them that they should undertake all necessary repairs, particularly outside painting and roof work, etc., in order to save much larger payments which will have to be made out of public funds on termination of the requisitioning if avoidable depreciation is not checked?

This matter has recently been the subject of consultation between the Treasury and the Departments concerned. I am advised that it is the practice of Departments to effect such current repairs as are essential to prevent avoidable deterioration, subject, of course, to the fact that labour and materials are in very short supply.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that all over the country property which has been requisitioned by the Departments, especially wooden property, is deteriorating very rapidly for want of paint, and that at the end of the war a formidable bill will have to be met, which could be avoided if this work were undertaken?

There is no difference between us on this matter. As I have said, the Treasury have been in touch with the Departments, and wish to see such work undertaken wherever possible.