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Volume 413: debated on Thursday 23 August 1945

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asked the Minister of Health whether, under the new Order giving further powers to local authorities to requisition empty houses, he will see that every consideration is given to houses belonging to Servicemen; and whether he can give an assurance that, when these men are released from their Service, houses which may belong to them will be given up without the need for taking the matter to the court.

The reply to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." Every effort is being made to release houses from requisitioning for the personal occupation of the persons who owned them at the time of requisitioning. The matter referred to in the second part of the Question is dealt with in the report of the Ridley Committee on Rent Control which is under consideration.

asked the Minister of Health whether his regulation still holds good that unoccupied houses may be requisitioned for letting; what is his definition of unoccupied; and, in particular, whether it covers a house inhabited only by one or two caretakers or only containing furniture without living inhabitants.

Yes, Sir. The powers already extend to houses containing only furniture, and I shall be ready to consider, on merits, any application which may be made for delegation of special powers in regard to houses occupied only by caretakers.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will direct the attention of local authorities to the many unoccupied domestic premises located over shops, with a view to their being requisitioned for housing purposes.

I have no reason to think that local authorities are not fully aware of the powers for requisitioning such premises, but this Question and answer will I hope draw their attention further to the point.