HC Deb 29 September 1942 vol 383 cc667-8
48. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether it is now proposed to adopt and put into effect the recommendations in the Report of the Uthwatt Committee and the Committee on Land Utilisation in Rural Areas; and when legislation will be introduced setting up a central planning authority?

The Prime Minister

These Reports cover a very wide field, on which consultation will be necessary with several Government Departments. In view of the heavy responsibilities now falling on my noble Friend the Minister of Works and Planning, I have arranged that my right hon. and learned Friend the Paymaster-General, who is already responsible for co-ordinating the activities of Departments in this field, should undertake an examination of these Reports and of other proposals for amending planning legislation. No change is involved in the current administration of the Town and Country Planning Acts, but the Paymaster-General will be able to call upon the Planning Staff of the Ministry of Works and Planning, as well as on the other Departments concerned, for such assistance and advice as he may find necessary. I am confident that he will receive valuable help from my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. H. Strauss), Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Planning.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Can my right hon. Friend indicate whether it is the Government's intention fairly soon to give the House an opportunity of discussing either of these Reports?

The Prime Minister

That is a matter which might well find its place in the Debate on the Address which will precede the future Session of Parliament.

Mr. Kirkwood

Seeing that this is a very complicated affair, according to the Prime Minister's reply to the original Question, may I ask him whether, in order to obviate all that trouble, the time has not arrived when he will bring in legislation to nationalise the land, which would give the greatest impetus to the war effort?