§ Sir ALFRED GELDER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the military authorities have taken possession of the Hedon Racecourse, near Hull, under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, 1914; that they have paid no rent for such occupation since October, 1915; that the owner of such estate is being pressed by her mortgagees, who have got a foreclosure order made against her and are now pressing for the same to be made absolute, the Master in Chancery expressing his intention of making such order absolute, notwithstanding the provisions of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1914, which Act the military authorities have given the owner notice he must take advantage of; if any steps will be taken by the War Office to prevent the Courts of Chancery taking such drastic action as making a foreclosure order absolute at a time like this and so prevent a landowner from losing his land owing to the action of the military authorities; and if the War Office is prepared to give any relief to the landowner in such a case?
§ Mr. FORSTER
This property was originally hired from a Mr. Emerson under an agreement which was terminated by him by notice on 18th October, 1915. Since that date it has been occupied under the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Regulations, 1914. No formal claim for compensation in connection with the continued occupation has yet been made to the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission either by Mr. Emerson or the mortgagee. It is understood that the foreclosure order had been obtained by the mortgagee before the original hiring agreement was entered into. The matter is not one in which the Department can intervene at the present stage.