HC Deb 20 November 1947 vol 444 cc1319-20
35. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the total acreage of land requisitioned for opencast coal on which work is in progress, has not yet begun and has not yet been restored; how much of this land was agricultural at the time of requisitioning; what additional acreage of land is to be requisitioned; what proportion of this will be agricultural; what is the total acreage requisitioned since 1941 and what proportion was agricultural.

Mr. Gaitskell

As the answer contains a large number of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Major Legge-Bourke

Will the Minister give an assurance that when agricultural land is to be requisitioned the decision will be notified to the farmers concerned, so that they may have some idea "of their prospects for the next few years?

Mr. Gaitskell

Yes, Sir.

Following is the information:

On 31st October, 30,629 acres were under requisition for opencast coal operations, of which 27,070 acres were agricultural land. Work was actually in progress on 20,663 acres, of which 17,911 acres were agricultural land. Work had not then begun on 1,751 acres of which 1,541 acres were agricultural land. Restoration was in progress on 8,215 acres of which 7,618 acres were agricultural land. It

Area. Percentage of allocation received by merchants after allowing for colliery holidays. Maximum permitted supply to consumers. Approximate average delivery to consumers.
Including deliveries under licence. Excluding licences.
cwt. cwt. cwt.
Northern regions, including Wales and Scotland 95.3 50 46 43
Southern regions, excluding London 93.2 34 33 29
London region 93.8 34 26 25

is expected that a further area of the order of 50,000 acres will be needed up to the end of 1951, of which about 90 per cent. will probably be agricultural land. The total area requisitioned from 1941 to 31st October, 1947, was 38,495 acres, of which 34,389 acres were agricultural land.