HC Deb 03 December 1946 vol 431 cc197-8
35. Mr. Follick

asked the Secretary of State for War when he expects to release Ashdown Forest.

36. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the retention of Ashdown Forest is depriving many cyclists, including the members of the National Cycling Club, Leicester, of necessary amenities which they had enjoyed for a considerable time; and whether he will now release the same to the Ashdown Forest Conservators.

Mr. Bellenger

I am aware that there is anxiety for the release of this area, but I would refer my hon. Friends to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on 6th November. The position is still as then stated.

Mr. Follick

Is the Secretary of State aware that there is great uneasiness in the country about the way these pleasure spots are being taken away, and will he try to reverse his policy of taking them over?

Mr. Bellenger

I am aware that there is anxiety-some of it justifiable and some exaggerated. When the complete picture is given, I think that a lot of this dissatisfaction or anxiety will disappear.

Mr. Janner

Can my right hon. Friend tell the House whether or not an undertaking was given at the time this forest was taken over that it would be released on the termination of hostilities, and will he say something in order to satisfy those people who relied upon that undertaking?

Mr. Bellenger

This is the first I have heard of it. I should be very surprised if an undertaking had been given, but that is not the main point.