HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc1397-8
Mr. Barnes

I beg to move, in page 2, line 13, at the end, to insert: (4) Before making or confirming a scheme under this Section the Minister shall give due consideration to the requirements of local and national planning, including the requirements of agriculture. The hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) moved a similar Amendment in Committee and expressed the view that I might like to have an opportunity of deciding whether it would be best to insert such an Amendment.

Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon)

I wish to know how the Minister intends to implement this Clause. I am grateful, as I am sure the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) is, to the Minister for moving this Amendment, but one hoped that there would be reference to the Minister of Town and Country Planning, possibly, to the local authority as far as planning is concerned, and to consultations with the Minister of Agriculture in regard to the requirements of agriculture. Perhaps the Minister will enlighten us on how he is to get the necessary consultations?

Mr. Barnes

It is very undesirable to place in an Act of Parliament an obligation on a Minister to consult another Minister. That is departmental practice and the insertion of the words with regard to national planning and agriculture will give those Departments a definite status on those issues. That was the purpose for which the Amendment was moved. It is quite unnecessary to put in the Ministers concerned, because this is normal departmental practice and constitutionally it is undesirable to include those words.

Mr. Keeling (Twickenham)

I do not press for any addition to the words of the Amendment which, I think, are quite satisfactory. However, I should like the Minister to add to the assurance he has given that other Government Departments will be consulted. Will he give an assurance that local planning authorities will be consulted and also recognise amenity societies such as the Council for the Preservation of Rural England?

Mr. Barnes

I am afraid I cannot give any undertaking. I am not disposed in this case virtually to commit myself to consulting all kinds of bodies. The Amendment indicates the general intention and the practice is a sufficient safeguard.

Mr. Keeling

What about the local planning authority?

Amendment agreed to