HC Deb 21 July 1958 vol 592 c2
2. Mr. Owen

asked the Minister of Health if the farm at West Duddo, Stannington, is now to be sold privately; and what offers he has had.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Richard Thompson)

My right hon. and learned Friend proposes to arrange for the sale of this land in the open market. A few preliminary inquiries have been received.

Mr. Owen

Is the Minister aware that this matter has been under consideration for about eighteen months and that the county council has been most anxious to secure possession of this farm for smallholding purposes? In view of the decision to place the land on the open market, what chance has the county council, in view of the credit squeeze, which restricts it from participating? Will not the hon. Gentleman consider looking again at the county council's offer and giving the council a fair chance in this matter?

Mr. Thompson

The undoubted delay in this case arose because it was desired to give the county council the fullest opportunity to make its case. That it has now done, but it is clear that the council cannot purchase the farm; therefore, the sale must go ahead.