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Requisitioned Premises

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 20 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War how many houses and buildings in this country are still under requisition by his Department; what is the necessity for their further retention; and when it is proposed that they shall he released.

My Department still holds under requisition in this country approximately 803 houses and 693 miscellaneous non-industrial buildings. These are still required to meet Army commitments which cannot be housed in War Department property, but the numbers are being progressively reduced according to the derequisitioning plan. Ninety-eight per cent. of the Army's total holdings of non-industrial buildings have already been released.

Can the hon. Gentleman give any further information why these buildings are still required in time of peace? Are not the staffs very much swollen, and should not a great many of these establishments, which were necessary in war, now be dispensed with?

No, Sir. I do not think that view is at all in accordance with the facts.

Will the hon. Gentleman not consider the fact that there are a great many civilians at the present moment being housed in military camps, and would it not be far better that houses should be released for them and that the various offices necessary for the military should go into the camps?

That is a different and very much wider question, of which I should like notice.

Could the hon. Gentleman say what steps he is taking to get houses in London derequisitioned for civilians, and does he not think that the troops would be very much better off in barracks or camps outside the London area, such as Aldershot or some other training area, than in private houses in London?

They would be very much better off, and that is why we have, as indicated in my answer, derequisitioned a very large number of properties, and are proceeding with that derequisitioning.