HC Deb 02 May 1950 vol 474 cc1556-7
17. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that a compulsory notice of acquisition in respect of Balnagore Farm in the parish of Fearn, Ross-shire, was served immediately prior to the coming into force of the Town and Country Planning Act for Scotland, whereby greatly increased terms for compensation would have been awarded to the owners of this property; what representations the United States Embassy have made protesting against this procedure; and whether, in view of this, he will withdraw the notices and issue new notices, thus giving the American owners the advantages of the post-war values now provided for by Parliament.

Mr. T. Fraser

The compulsory order was made on 10th May, 1947, and notices to treat were served three days later. The amended provisions as regards compensation came into effect in August, 1947. The answer to the second part of the Question is, " None Sir." As regards the third part of the Question, the amount of compensation to be paid is now being considered by an arbiter and must necessarily be determined in accordance with the statutory provisions ruling at the time of the notices to treat.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that unless he treats this American company with justice international complications may ensue. [Interruption.] That is quite true. Is he also aware that while he may be able to " pull a fast one " over the British taxpayer he cannot do that with the American taxpayer with impunity?

Mr. John MacLeod

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty is quite a broad-minded fellow and would not have objected if the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) had told him he was going to raise this matter in the House?

Mr. McKie

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the proper name for this farm is " Balnagown "? I presume that is the farm to which he is referring?

Mr. Fraser

No, the proper name is that referred to in the Question