Beauty of the Coastline (National Trust Appeal)

Oral Answers to Questions — Land and Natural Resources – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Donald Chapman Mr Donald Chapman , Birmingham, Northfield 12:00 am, 10th May 1965

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources what representations have been made to him about an Exchequer contribution to the National Trust's appeal for funds to help to safeguard the beauty of the coastline, called "Enterprise Neptune"; and whether he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and I have received representations from the National Trust about "Enterprise Neptune", and we have informed the Trust that we are ready to recommend to Parliament that an Exchequer contribution of £250,000 be given. Provision will be made in the Estimates in due course. I hope that this contribution will be a substantial encouragement at the outset to those organising the appeal, and that it will stimulate the generosity of other donors. I am glad to make this contribution as part of the wider policy for the countryside on which I am now working.

Photo of Mr Donald Chapman Mr Donald Chapman , Birmingham, Northfield

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the satisfaction and pleasure with which his Answer will be received in all parts of the House, and certainly by the National Trust and those who are organising this very worth-while venture? Can he say whether he is making progress in his own studies of coastline policy and the preservation of the coastline, and how this project fits in with his wider consideration?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

We are obliged to my hon. Friend for his reference to the National Trust. The coast will most clearly be an essential part of any countryside policy, and in the countryside policy on which I am now working the coast will have a prominent part. We regard the work of the National Trust as being part and parcel of what we wish to do about the coast of Britain.

Photo of Mr William Deedes Mr William Deedes , Ashford

Will this £¼ million come out of the National Land Fund, because is not this object precisely what the late Hugh Dalton had in mind when he originally established that Fund? Has the right hon. Gentleman an eye on it as a potential source for this sort of work?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

I cannot assure the right hon. Gentleman that this comes from the Land Fund, but I am much obliged to him for calling my attention to that Fund.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , South Shields

As a member of the executive of the National Trust, may I add my thanks and those of the National Trust? May I also ask whether, in addition, my right hon. Friend hopes to try to make available some of the surplus Service Departments land on the coastline, which will help towards the same objective?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

The land in the hands of the Services is under constant review.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , North Cornwall

What is the Minister doing to stop planning permission being given in coastal areas where this will be obviously detrimental to the beauty of the coastline?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

That is a matter for the Ministry of Housing, but it is also a matter for me, and it is being considered in the context of the countryside policy.