HC Deb 15 October 1946 vol 427 cc776-7
33. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to announce the Government's decision on the size and location of United Kingdom military training areas.

Mr. Bellenger

Not yet, Sir. As previously explained to hon. Members, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning has set up an inter-Departmental committee to consider the Services' requirements and proposals as a whole, with a view to recommending which areas shall be made available, having full regard to civil as well as Service interests. The committee are giving urgent consideration to the training areas, and decisions will be reached as soon as their recommendations are available.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that consideration has been given to this matter now for something approaching twelve months, and does he realise that the opinion is growing in these country areas that the pledges given at the beginning of the war to these people, that they would not be dispossessed of their homes, have been broken by the Government? Will he consider making a full statement to the House, if only of an interim character, on the whole position?

Mr. Bellenger

I understand the interest of the House in this matter, and will endeavour to make a statement as soon as possible.

Brigadier Peto

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that such common lands as are at present under requisition under the Defence Act will be derequisitioned at the earliest possible time, and not be used as training areas in future?

Mr. Bellenger

I am not aware that they are being used as training areas, but the only assurance I can give is that the whole matter is now being very carefully investigated.

Mr. Vane

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that, as far as possible, there will not be training areas in areas where we hope there will soon be national parks?

Mr. Medland

Will the right hon. Gentleman give us an undertaking that there will be no further encroachment on the Forest of Dartmoor which is to be made a national park?