HC Deb 09 April 1952 vol 498 c2736
49. Sir William Darling

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence how much land is retained for training purposes by the three Service Departments in England, Wales and Scotland, respectively.

Mr. Birch

The following acreages of land are held for training purposes in England, Wales and Scotland respectively, either on freehold or on leasehold or requisitioned under Defence Regulation 51:

England 357,450
Wales 48,150
Scotland 35,900
In addition, the Service Departments have training rights under Defence Regulation 52 over the following areas:
England 85,900
Wales 11,000
Scotland 23,000

Mr. Beswick

Does that include aerodromes?

Mr. Birch


Mr. P. W. Donner

Can my hon. Friend say what proportion is requisitioned?

Mr. Birch

Not without notice.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Can the hon. Gentleman tell me why the ratio of retained land in Wales is so much higher than in either England or Scotland? Does he appreciate that there is great discontent in Wales because of the allocation of so much land for these and other Government purposes?

Mr. Birch

The hon. Gentleman will realise that it is very important not to take really good agricultural land for these purposes, and that is one reason why mountain regions tend to be used. The hon. Gentleman will have noticed that my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Welsh Affairs has intervened in this matter and that the claims of Wales have been met to a very considerable extent.