HC Deb 18 April 1967 vol 745 cc272-3
3. Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria govern the fixing of prices by the Crown Estate Commissions when tidal land which is otherwise undeveloped and valueless is sold to local authorities and other bodies which need it for development made possible by reclamation schemes undertaken by them at their own expense.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Niall MacDermot)

The Commissioners follow the advice of the Inland Revenue Valuation Office as to the market value, excluding any element of monopoly value.

Mr. Lloyd

Since the Chancellor said only yesterday that he intends to help local authorities wherever possible, and since his colleague, the Minister of Transport, has also said that it is her intention to help port authorities, is this not a singularly unhelpful way of going about it?

Mr. MacDermot

I am afraid that we cannot help local authorities by breaking the law. The Crown Estate Act requires the Commissioners not to sell or dispose of land except for the best consideration which can reasonably be obtained. An assurance was given to the House when the Bill went through that they would follow this procedure by seeking the advice of the Inland Revenue Valuation Office and accepting it.