HC Deb 18 March 1952 vol 497 c2090
31. Major W. J. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is satisfied that his authority to safeguard Scottish food production will not be prejudiced by the transfer of opencast coal from the Ministry of Fuel and Power to the National Coal Board.

Mr. J. Stuart

Yes, Sir. The Ministerial responsibility for deciding whether particular areas should be worked for opencast coal and, if so, how food production and other interests are to be safeguarded will continue as hitherto.

Major Anstruther-Gray

May I take it that my right hon. Friend will still have powers to prevent the best agricultural and market gardening land in Scotland from being used for purposes other than the producing of vital food?

Mr. Stuart

Certainly, my desire is to safeguard all our best agricultural land.