HC Deb 08 December 1949 vol 470 cc2081-2
55. Mr. Stokes

asked the Minister of Agriculture in view of the fact that the commoners at Constantine Bay, Cornwall, have assigned their rights to him, whether it is with his authority that sand hauliers have made a road into the common lands for the purpose of removing sand from the beaches; whether he is aware that that they are now engaged in removing the sand dunes themselves; and whether he will institute legal proceedings to protect the common lands.

Mr. T. Williams

No commoners' rights at Constantine Bay have been assigned to me, and the access road to which my hon. Friend refers has not been made with my authority. I am not aware that the hauliers are now removing sand dunes. I have no power to institute proceedings to protect the common lands and it is primarily for the owners of the soil to consider whether any action should be taken in the matter.

Mr. Stokes

But is my right hon. Friend aware that he is paying these people a subsidy to take away the common lands and does it not show that his methods of inspection and checking are completely inadequate, as I have said for years?

Mr. Williams

My hon. Friend must agree, from the letter which I sent to him last evening explaining the full facts of the case, that I am in no way responsible for the statement made in his Question.

Mr. Stokes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I have not yet received it?

Mr. Charles Williams

Will the Minister protect the age-long right of Cornish farmers to have sand to manure their own land?