HC Deb 08 March 1948 vol 448 cc788-9
51. Commander Maitland

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the recent destruction of earthworks in Lincolnshire; and if he will arrange with the county agricultural Executive Committee that early notification of any proposals to destroy earthworks may be made to the County Archæological Research Committee, in order that trial excavations may be made to discover whether the sites are of historical value, and to safeguard them if necessary.

Mr. T. Williams

I am informed by the County Agricultural Executive Committee in Lincolnshire that, so far as they are aware, no earthworks have been destroyed as a result of agricultural operations carried out by them, or at their request. Most of these committees already have details of ancient monuments in their area, and I am asking my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works to supply details to the other counties concerned. While committees will exercise the greatest care so as to avoid endangering such sites, they have no power to prevent farmers on their own initiative carrying out agricultural operations that will damage earthworks.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is there any liaison between the Minister's Department and the archæological department of the Ordnance Survey Department?

Mr. Williams

As the hon. Member would expect, we do listen to their representations.

Mr. Nicholson

I did not mean that exactly. Is the Minister in constant touch with them; is there close liaison; or are they merely listened to as and when representations are made?

Mr. Williams

I should want notice of that question.

Commander Maitland

May we take it that the Minister's Department will cooperate with local archæological societies in this matter?

Mr. Williams


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