Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 1st August 1935.
asked the Minister of Health whether his assent has been given to the London County Council's scheme to appropriate 30 acres of playing fields on Hackney Marshes for the purpose of a new housing scheme?
I understand that the London County Council resolved on Tuesday, 30th July, to appropriate this land for housing purposes, subject to my consent, but I have not yet received any formal application in the matter.
While fully aware that slum clearance must have the first consideration of the Government, will my right hon. Friend withhold his assent to the scheme until every alternative has been carefully examined, in view of the importance of Hackney Marshes as the best open space for health and recreation in East London?
Yes, I will gladly look at that. Of course, if there is any substantial objection to the scheme, I shall take the usual course of ordering an inquiry.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the statement which has been made in some quarters that taking this ground will not interfere with playing-field facilities is totally contrary to the facts, and could he give an undertaking not to give his assent during the Parliamentary Recess?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, unless this portion of Hackney Marshes is appropriated as suggested, it will be impossible to remedy the serious overcrowding that exists?
This is a very difficult matter, and I cannot express an opinion until all the facts have been put before me. Then I shall have to come to an opinion on the matter.
Will the right hon. Gentleman make it a condition of alienating an open space for other purposes that another open space shall be provided in its place?