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Requisitioned Property, Cardiff

Volume 477: debated on Monday 17 July 1950

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62.

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that one of the 66 houses in Cardiff now occupied by Government Departments for office purposes, has been unoccupied since 1942; and whether, in view of the fact that there are at least 10,000 homeless applicants and seven mental deficients not enjoying proper institutional care in Cardiff, he will release these premises forthwith.

It is understood that the hon. Member has in mind No. 12. Cathedral Road, Cardiff. This building has not been occupied since April, 1949, owing to its bad structural condition. The lease runs until March, 1952, but attempts to arrange an earlier surrender have so far been unsuccessful.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that it is consistent with his two previous pledges to me in this House —that the property will be derequisitioned as soon as possible—that this property should have been unoccupied and deteriorating, even if his date of 1949 is correct and mine of 1942 is not?

The difficulty is that the lease runs until 1952 and the owners of the property will not take it back. We are, therefore, in some difficulty here; but we hope to arrive at a satisfactory arrangement.

In view of the fact that this Question refers to my constituency, and in view of the fact that I addressed to my right hon. Friend's predecessor a number of Questions concerning derequisitioning, only to find that large houses were taken over, not for the re-housing of people in need, but for people already comfortably ensconced in large houses, will he make sure that if derequisitioning takes place, this property is used for people who need it?

I can assure both hon. Members that I am doing my best to get rid of this house at the earliest possible moment.