asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that 32 Blackpool hotels are still held on Government requisition; that the continued maintenance of these requisitions makes it difficult for the town to cater adequately for either holidaymakers or national conferences; and whether he will consider providing permanent accommodation within the county borough for the Government Departments concerned so as to release the hotels for their proper functions and at the same time maintain within the area the employment offered by the Civil Service.
Yes, Sir. I am aware that 32 Blackpool hotels or boarding houses are still held on Government requisition and of the difficulties experienced by the town as a result. My Department has for some time past been taking steps to provide other accommodation for the civil servants now in hotels, including the erection of new buildings in Newcastle for the Ministry of National Insurance. The question of locating some Government staffs permanently in the town is being considered but this would not enable requisitioned hotels to be released any sooner than under present arrangements.
Can the Minister give an approximate date when these hotels will be derequisitioned? It is not good enough that they should still be held two years after the war.
No, Sir. I cannot give a date. There are certainly some cases where it will not be possible until the end of 1949.
Would the Minister consider first those resorts on the East and South coasts which bore the full brunt of the war rather than places like Blackpool?
I shall try in all cases to deal fairly with the claims of all seaside resorts.
May I ask my right hon. Friend not to worry unduly about Blackpool, in view of the large number of people who prefer to sleep on the sands there—judging by its situation in the sun?