HC Deb 05 November 1945 vol 415 cc897-8
56. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will now state the acreage of agricultural land in the county of Norfolk that has been taken for all military and Air Force purposes since 1938; how much of it has since been returned to agricultural purposes; and, in view of the paramount needs of food production, whether large acreages will be returned for cropping during the coming season.

Mr. T. Williams

The total areas of such land is approximately 40,000 acres, 7,700 acres of which have been derequisitioned and in large part returned to agricultural use. I am unable to say at present whether any further large acreages will be returned to cropping during the coming season, as this will depend on the requirements of the two Services, but my Department is working in close co-operation with them on this matter.

Mr. Dye

Is it possible for my right hon. Friend to get this land back to food production just as urgently as it was taken over for war purposes?

Mr. Williams

I do not agree that there have been a number of doubtful cases of eviction.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Will the figures be given for counties?

Following is the answer:

The numbers given below are net figures after deduction of cases where possession has subsequently been given up. I am unable to state the gross number of cases.

Mr. Williams

Most certainly. My Department is very anxious that all suitable land should be restored to its former use when the Services can make it available to us.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will the right hon. Gentleman give active assistance to Members of this House who desire to get these areas back to their constituents from the War Office?

Mr. Williams