HC Deb 11 November 1943 vol 393 c1286
52. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is in a position to make a statement about the proposal to set aside a further area of land in an area of which he has been informed for special military exercises on a scale so large as to destroy crops and necessitate the transfer of dairy and other cattle?

Mr. Hudson

I do not think I can usefully add to the reply which was given yesterday by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary, War Office, in regard to this matter.

Sir R. Glyn

Will my right hon. Friend take into account the permanent loss of livelihood of a large number of people if this scheme goes through as at present arranged, and will he press for a further reconnaissance to be made?

Mr. Hudson

My hon. Friend can well imagine that I regret this extremely from the food production point of view, but, after all, we have to win the war, and military priorities must take precedence.

Earl Winterton

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great concern caused in many parts of England at this taking of land, in view of the statement of the Minister of Food regarding our difficulties next year?

Mr. Hudson

Yes, but meanwhile we have not won the war.

Sir R. Glyn

We quite appreciate the importance of this training, but this is an area of 150,000 acres, and it means the loss of a large number of accredited tested dairy herds. Can some adequate arrangement be made to secure the milk supply?

Mr. Hudson

I am aware of all those facts. For what it is worth, the original area demanded was very much larger, and we have succeeded in cutting it down.

Mr. De la Bère

Nevertheless we cannot win the war without food.

Mr. Cocks

Can it not be arranged to have these exercises on foreign soil?