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British Transport Commission (Houses)

Volume 645: debated on Wednesday 26 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission to undertake the immediate repair, with a view to letting, of all untenanted houses in their possession.

Does the Minister realise that this doctrine of the day-to-day affairs of the Commission can be carried too far and that this problem has been rendered acute by the closure of branch lines in Scotland? Is he aware that many of the buildings at level crossings and elsewhere are lying derelict and are a great loss of public property? Will he remedy this state of affairs?

I am afraid that this is a matter of day-to-day management for the Commission.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that at the same time there is a good deal of evidence coming to hand to show that the British Transport Commission is very slow in getting rid of untenanted and unwanted property? Will he give a general direction to the Commission telling it to hurry up and to get rid of the houses and buildings and so on which it does not require?

No, I will not give a general direction to the Commission, but when reorganisation takes place it will no doubt have greater powers than it now has about property.