§ 13. Mr. Donner
asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that numerous sites of former British and U.S. hutted camps on good agricultural land are now covered with concrete and weeds; that the clearing and restoring of such sites is practicable only for large contractors equipped with modern implements; that costs involved require clearing on a national scale; and whether he will consider undertaking such action in the national interest rather than settling the matter by payment of compensation to individuals unable to undertake this work themselves.
§ Mr. Key
I am aware that it has not yet been possible to restore considerable areas of land which have been used for camps and other war works, and I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Western Dorset (Mr. Digby) on 28th April, 1947. Where public interest is involved, and the compensation paid or payable is not enough for necessary restoration, application may be made for assistance under the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act. This would take the form either of increased compensation or of actual reinstatement by the Government. It is for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture to say whether land affected should be restored for agricultural purposes.
§ Mr. Donner
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a considerable area of land is affected, and that we cannot continue to allow this land to produce neither food nor timber? Under these circumstances, why did he write to a constituent of mine saying that there are no grounds for removing temporary works at public expense?
§ Brigadier Medlicott
When the Minister is looking into this matter, will he also bear in mind the condition of the buildings on these sites, many of which seem to have been left completely unattended? This has exposed them to deterioration and damage, of which there is at least one example in Norfolk?