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