HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2293-4
51. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture how much common land is still held by his Department in the county of Hereford and in England and Wales, respectively; when will this land be handed back to the commoners; and, when it is handed back, what steps he proposes to take to prevent this land again reverting to its pre-war condition.

Mr. T. Williams

Seven hundred and forty-seven acres in Herefordshire and 10,500 acres in England and Wales. Most of this common land will not be released from requisition at least until 1952. Once it is handed back it will be for the commoners to see that the grazing is maintained in good condition.

Mr. Baldwin

While the country is being slowly starved for want of fresh food, will the Minister take into account the need for pressing forward with legislation to bring into cultivation hundreds of thousands of acres of common land not being used at present?

Mr. Williams

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will have a look at the Livestock Rearing Bill, which passed through the House a few days ago.

Mr. Llewellyn

Is the Minister aware that the information required is for England and Wales respectively, and, since it is St. David's Day, will he give the information in respect of Wales?

Earl Winterton

In view of the great importance of this question, may we have placed in the Library a statement showing how much common land has been taken over in different counties, because my impression is that, in some counties, nothing whatever has been done to take over huge areas of waste common land?

Mr. Williams

I will see if that is possible.