HC Deb 04 November 1947 vol 443 c1510
14. Mr. Medland

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that in 1941 his Department requisitioned 18¼ acres of the best arable and grazing land on Mettom Farm, Newton Ferrers, S. Devon, the property of the Plymouth Co-operative Society; that this site has been untenanted for over 18 months and is now a forest of weeds causing pollution of surrounding agricultural land; and will he order immediately the derequisitioning of this land.

Mr. Shinwell

There is a permanent requirement for land in this area which is to be investigated locally in conjunction with the Ministry of Town and Country Planning and the local authorities. Until this investigation has been completed it will not be possible to derequisition any part of this land. I am looking further into the matter of weeds and hope it will be possible to get rid of the nuisance.

Mr. Charles Williams

Arising out of that, will the right hon. Gentleman assure me that he will not deal unduly hardly with the Co-operative society in this matter?

Mr. Medland

Will the right hon. Gentleman please understand that the inquiry and investigation he talks about have been going on for nearly 18 months? It is nearly time that it was concluded. Will he please give this land back to the Cooperative society so that they can get on with their farming?

Mr. Shinwell

I was not aware that the inquiry had been going on for so long, but the Department has already offered to let the owners of the land use it, without cost, for grazing purposes.