HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 c387
19. Sir Percy Hurd

asked the Secretary of State for Air how much agricultural land has been taken by his Ministry; what is the total amount paid for this land; and the amount paid in compensation?

Sir K. Wood

Since the expansion of the Royal Air Force began the area of land acquired by the Air Ministry in the United Kingdom is approximately 40,000 acres and acquisition is proceeding or is in contemplation in respect of a further 40,000 acres. The cost of this land to the end of the present financial year is expected to amount to £2,000,000, of which £180,000 is estimated to have been paid to tenants by way of compensation. About 80 per cent, of the area acquired was agricultural land but I cannot readily state how much was actually under cultivation.

Sir P. Hurd

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture will be appalled by these figures?

Sir K. Wood

Of course there are very vital reasons why we must proceed in the way I have suggested.

Mr. Gallacher

Can the Minister say how many of the Government supporters participated in the sale of the land?