It continues to be Government policy to extend the compulsory registration system to built-up areas before extending it to rural areas; but it is not practicable to predict when orders will be made.
How many orders have been made in the last six months and how many are likely to be made in the next six months? Is he aware that I am beginning to think, in the light of the number of answers to Questions that I have received on this subject, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is prepared to say anything but his prayers?
The hon. Gentleman will recollect that this process was set in train in 1964 and was proceeding well until 1968, at which date he was a member of the then Administration. Since then there has not been the progress which previously had been made. We now face a position, with the reorganisation of local government areas, which makes it impossible to forecast which area should be given priority; and until those radical changes in local government areas have been decided there will be a cut-across of the previous plans. However, it remains the policy of the Government, as I believe it was the policy of the Labour Government, to continue to deal first with the compulsory registration of built-up areas.