HC Deb 10 May 1950 vol 475 cc353-4
6. Brigadier Rayner

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when, and under what conditions, he proposes to hand over the Totnes racecourse to the local authority or other local body.

Mr. W. Edwards

The Admiralty have been willing to sell the former racecourse at Totnes to the Totnes Borough Council unconditionally, but the final offer for the property recently made by the Council was entirely unacceptable. They have, therefore, been informed that the Admiralty now consider themselves free to dispose of the property elsewhere. This the Admiralty are proceeding to do, but it is still not too late for the Council to make an increased offer, if they so desire.

Brigadier Rayner

Does the Civil Lord realise that, like all soldiers, I have a very high opinion of the senior Service, and do not like to see him and his Department playing Shylock? Does he realise that in this case a completely ruined racecourse is being offered to the Totnes Council at an absurd price, and will he look into the matter further?

Mr. Edwards

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the Admiralty are not taking up the position of a Shylock on this occasion. The Admiralty, as Members of the House would wish them to do, are safeguarding the interests of the taxpayer by seeing that a proper price is paid.