HC Deb 12 July 1954 vol 530 cc24-5
50. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many properties are still held under requisition by his Department: if he will order a new investigation into the circumstances of each case: and if he will direct that prior consideration be given to the original owner, or owners, whenever a sale is contemplated.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. L. W. Joynson-Hicks)

Seven hundred and seventy-seven sites for opencast mining, which will be returned automatically to their owners and occupiers as soon as the land has been restored, and two properties for defence purposes.

The second and third parts of the Question do not arise.

Mr. Gower

Would my hon. Friend not agree that these are very large figures? Will he look at this matter again very carefully?

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

About half of the 777 sites are in operation for the recovery of coal, and the other half are in process of restoration for agricultural use.