HC Deb 02 March 1954 vol 524 cc1008-10
58. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will appoint to the National Parks Commission someone with long experience of organisations representing walkers and cyclists.

60. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what steps he has taken to see that open-air and amenity interests are adequately represented on the National Parks Commission.

Mr. Marples

The Commission now has 11 members, not including the chairman and vice-chairman, and my right hon. Friend has no present intention of appointing any more. He is circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT the names of the Commissioners, and hon. Members will see that they cover a wide range of interests, especially open-air interests. I would, however, repeat, as I explained last week in reply to the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) that people are not appointed to the Commission as representatives of any interests or bodies, but for the general contribution they can make to the problems with which the Commission has to deal.

Mr. de Freitas

Is it not a fact that walkers and cyclists are very great users of these National Parks and will be, and is it not right that there should be someone on the Commission able to put their point of view?

Mr. Marples

Out of the 11 members of the Commission two in the past have represented the Ramblers' Association, and there is still a member of the Ramblers' Association on the Commission. It may be possible in future to put someone on the Commission to represent cyclists, but there are other open-air interests, horse riding and so on, to be considered, and it is not possible to run the Commission on the basis of sectional interests.

Sir H. Williams

How many of the other nine members are able to walk?

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is the hon. Gentle-aware of the strong feeling that the Minister is now appointing persons without any knowledge or experience at all of National Parks or of their real importance to the country?

Mr. Marples

I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman has thought fit to say that, because my right hon. Friend has appointed a member—Mr. Morgan—of the Boy Scouts' Association. I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman casts a reflection upon what I call the camping interests.

Mr. Chetwynd

Will the hon. Gentleman take the opportunity to pay a tribute to the chairman who has just retired, and of impressing upon the new chairman the desirability of getting on with the job set for the Commission by legislation?

Mr. Marples


Following are the members of the National Parks Commission: Lord Strang, G.C.B, G.C.M.G., M.B.E, Chairman. Lord Lawson, P.C, D. C. L.,Deputy Chairman. Brigadier P. B. E. Acland, O.B.E., M.C.T. D.D.L. (Devon). Chairman of Devon County Agricultural Executive Committee and member of county council. Dr. (Nancy G. Davies, M R.C.S., L R.C.S. (Cardiganshire). Former Officer of Welsh Board of Health. Mrs. John Dower, J.P. (Northumberland). Associated with her late husband Mr. John Dower, A. R.I.B.A., in the preparation of his "Report on National Parks in England and Wales. Mr. Clyde Higgs (Stratford-on-Avon). Farmer and Chairman of Farmers'Club. Contributor to journals dealing with farming and country life. Mr. A. Lubbock (Hampshire). Vice-Chairman of Hampshire County Council. Professor R. C. McLean, M.A., D Sc., F.L.S. (Cardiff). Professor of Botany at Cardiff and member of the Nature Conservancy. Mr. D. Francis Morgan, O.B.E. (Surrey). Member of Council of Boy Scouts Association. Chairman of their Camp Sites Committee. Responsible for development and administration of camp sites in many parts of the country. Mr. Francis Ritchie (Birmingham). Chairman of Ramblers' Association Rights of Way Committee, President of Midlands Area Ramblers' Association. Served on the Special Committee on Footpaths and Access to the Countryside. Mr. W. H. Vaughan, O.B.E., J.P. (South Wales). Member of the Forestry Commission. Mr. J F Wolfenden, C.B.E. (Berkshire). Vice-Chancellor of Reading University and Former Chairman of Youth Advisory Council. Mr. W.B. Yapp (Birmingham) Naturalist and Lecturer in Zoology, University of Birmingham.