HC Deb 30 June 1955 vol 543 cc503-4
51. Mr. Hurd

asked the Prime Minister to make a statement on the organisation of Crown Lands.

The Prime Minister

I have received the Report of the Committee under the Chairmanship of Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, which was appointed to inquire into the organisation of Crown Lands, and I have arranged for the Report to be published as a White Paper. Copies will be available in the Vote Office this afternoon.

One of the Committee's main recommendations is that a Board of Trustees should be set up to manage Crown Lands. Her Majesty's Government believe that this recommendation will command general support and we have decided to accept it. This reorganisation cannot be carried fully into effect without legislation, but we hope to take certain preliminary steps in advance of legislation. Meanwhile, we will examine the other recommendations in the Report, some of which will also require legislation. A Bill will be presented in due course.

Mr. Hurd

Now that a decision has been reached, may we be told a little about the trustees? Will they be people with knowledge of the land, and will they be expected to meet regularly and exercise fairly close supervision over the administration of Crown Lands?

The Prime Minister

As I have said, I have arranged for the Report to be published. Perhaps my hon. Friend would study it before he puts further questions.

Mr. T. Williams

Can the Prime Minister say whether the suggested Board of Trustees will be subject to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State?

The Prime Minister

That is an important point, and unless and until the matter is changed by legislation the responsibility remains as now.