Billeting Accommodation, Waddesdon.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 19th February 1942.

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Colonel Arthur Evans:

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the proceedings of the Croydon Borough Council at which strong criticism was expressed by certain members with regard to the arrangements proposed by his Department in connection with the billeting of Croydon infant schools at Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire; whether he is satisfied that these criticism are not justified; and what action he intends to take to refute them and allay anxiety?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

My attention has been called to Press reports of these proceedings in which an entirely unwarranted attack was made on the owner of Waddesdon Manor who has, since the commencement of the war, provided accommodation and services there for 100 children under five and their nursing staff. The arrangements now proposed were suggested by my Department and the proposed payment was fixed by the District Valuer. At no time has any profit accrued to the owner, who placed himself unreservedly in the hands of the Ministry of Health both as regards the original and the proposed arrangements; and we are grateful for his generosity. I shall be communicating with the Croydon Borough Council and shall ask them to give to the facts the same publicity as attended the proceedings to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers.

Colonel Evans:

Will the right hon. Gentleman give further encouragement to property owners who are anxious to be of service to the State?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I shall be very glad to do so, and I should certainly deprecate sensational statements, which are quite often unfair.