asked the Minister of Works if he is aware that his Nottingham surveyor promised the Louth National Farmers' Union in June that the fencing surrounding the buildings of the Ludford Magna airfield, which is in a dilapidated state and provides no protection for stock, would be repaired within two weeks; that no repairs have been done; and what action does he now propose to take to end the negligence by his Department in this matter.
No, Sir. I am informed that no such promise was given. The farmers were informed that owing to uncertainty as to the future use of the hutting, at present occupied by Polish families, no major scheme of repairs could be undertaken. Some repairs are now being put in hand pending a decision about the future use of this camp.
Is the Minister saying that the National Farmers' Union are lying when they make this statement; and is he aware that there are acres of ground there that could feed sheep, which cannot be used because his Department have neglected their work, and will he have that seen to?
I have made no accusation whatever against the National Farmers' Union. I said that they had been informed differently from what the hon. Gentleman had stated in his Question. As a matter of fact, at that meeting which took place on 20th May with the N.F.U., the minutes record that in view of the uncertainty of the life of this hostel, it would be a waste of public funds to undertake major repairs and/or the replacing of fencing generally at this time; that the matter should be deferred until later in the year, when the decision as to the life of the hostel would be known with more certainty, and, if still held on charge, the repair of the fencing as a whole would be undertaken.