HC Deb 02 May 1922 vol 153 cc1171-2

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he has received any complaints from the Pulham Parish Council, Norfolk, in reference to letting the land at the air station at Pulham, amounting to nearly 1,000 acres; and, if so, seeing that there are so many people living in the district, many of them ex-service men, wanting land and who would put it under much better cultivation, if he will consult with the parish council with a view of these ex-service men and others acquiring some of this land?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Captain Guest)

Representations were received from the local parish council in regard to the letting of the Pulham Aerodrome to smallholders, but it is most undesirable to split up land in small lots for cultivation before the future of the station has been settled. It is, at pre sent, impossible to forecast how long this land may be in the hands of the Government, and it may be necessary, at any moment, to dispose of it at very short notice. It would clearly be against the interest of smallholders that they should take up land of such very uncertain tenure. Should it be decided to retain the land permanently, the ground would be required for use as an aerodrome and it would not then be possible to let it to smallholders.


Is it not a fact that the man to whom this land was let is allowing it to lie almost derelict? Would it not be far better to let the land to the ex-service men in the district, many of whom are unemployed, to enable them to get an honest living?

Captain GUEST

I think my hon. Friend will appreciate the difficulty in connection with aerodromes and airship stations. There has been a doubt whether the Government would retain them, or whether a private company would take them over. That doubt will be settled soon, one way or the other.


Would it not be more advisable to colonise England than to send these people out to Australia?