56. Wing-Commander James
asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent he has been discussing the proposals for legislation with the Ministry of War Transport and the Association of Highway Authorities; what is the estimated acreage of agricultural land involved; and if consideration is being given to the disorganisation that would follow from the cutting across of agricultural holdings.
Proposals for the construction of new roads are discussed between the Ministry of War Transport and my Department. Severance of farms is one of the important matters taken into account. My Noble Friend, the Minister of War Transport, would certainly con- 724 sult me about new legislative proposals likely to affect agricultural land. No estimate can be given at the present stage as to the acreage of agricultural land that may be involved.
57. Wing-Commander James
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the large aggregate area of agricultural land damaged or impeded by War Department and Air Ministry works, many of them small and no longer in use, he will consider what steps can be taken to secure restoration and terminate the waste involved.
Arrangements have been made between my Department and the War Office for the removal, where practicable, of obsolete or unwanted defence works and for the restoration of the land to agricultural use where it is considered to be desirable in the interests of food production. These arrangements, which have also been adopted in principle by the Air Ministry, are, of course, subject to the necessary labour being available.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are a great many searchlight sites no longer in use, and would he ask agricultural committees to advise him as to whether obstructions could be removed?