Army Training Areas

Oral Answers to Questions — Land and Natural Resources – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 1965.

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Photo of Mr Martin Redmayne Mr Martin Redmayne , Rushcliffe 12:00 am, 8th March 1965

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources what representations have been made to him in respect of the need for the expansion of Army training areas.

Photo of Mr Martin Redmayne Mr Martin Redmayne , Rushcliffe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there have been authoritative reports that the Army wants another 100,000 acres of land? Is he further aware that it has been said, apparently on the authority of the War Office, that this land nationally covers more than barren land, moorland and open plain? Is there any truth in this and, if so, is he aware that it will mean a further most severe loss of farming land? Can we be assured that if anything of the kind is sought the House will be informed about it before it goes to any definite stage?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

I am not responsible for what appears in the Press, but if there is any question of the Service Departments taking further land for training my Department would be consulted.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I sent to his Department some months ago statistics which I had collected over two years about holdings of land by Service Departments? Is he further aware that under the Administration of Mr. Attlee, as he was then, there was formed an Inter-departmental Committee of Land Holding Departments, which was later abolished by the Conservative Party, and that there was acute public disquiet about the unending demand for the already slender land resources we have?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

I am so aware, and I am much obliged to my hon. Friend for his informative correspondence. I am in touch with the Service Departments about it.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

The right hon. Gentleman says that if such proposals were made his Department would be consulted. Can he go further and, as the Minister responsible for land use, give the assurance that such a request would be turned down?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

Of course I cannot. I must consider it on its merits.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

When the Army wants more land, do unscrupulous and unpatriotic landlords ask too much for it?

Photo of Miss Joan Quennell Miss Joan Quennell , Petersfield

Can the Minister indicate that if the Army or other Service Departments wish to relinquish land, his Department will be similarly consulted?