HC Deb 27 February 1930 vol 235 cc2421-2
105. Captain GUNSTON

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the loss of grazing value through want of supervision and labour which has been allowed to accrue to the commons of Sodbury and Hawkesbury, in the County of Gloucester; and whether he will make representations to the local authorities concerned and the Ministry of Labour in order that a scheme may be promulgated whereby unemployed persons in the neighbouring towns and villages might be given work clearing thorn and bramble, levelling antheaps and molehills, and draining these and other commons?


My right hon. Friend has no information as to the condition of these commons. The management of Sodbury Common is vested in conservators by a regulation scheme made under the Commons Act, 1876, and that of Hawkesbury Common in the Chip-ping Sodbury Rural District Council by a regulation scheme made under the Commons Act, 1899, and he has no powers of supervision or control in regard to the improvements mentioned. From the particulars, it seems doubtful whether the proposed work would be eligible for assistance through the Unemployment Grants Committee, but if the hon. Member will communicate with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour the question will be further considered. I am sending the hon. Member a statement of the terms and conditions under which grants can be made.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this land was granted by William the Conqueror to the burgesses of Sodbury for agricultural purposes, and does he not think the time has arrived when it should really be made suitable for agricultural purposes?


I think it is desirable, but these particular commons have been dealt with in accordance with other provisions.