HC Deb 04 February 1970 vol 795 c413
25. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to seek to extend the area of land or sand beaches over which his Department exercises rights.

Mr. Hattersley

There are plans for about 18,000 acres, of which about 6,000 acres are sandy beach.

Mr. Gwynfor Evans

Is the Minister of Defence aware of the strength and extent of the resistance to the proposal to move the Shoeburyness gunnery range down to the sand beaches of Carmarthen-shire near to an industrial complex and some fishery and tourist industries? Is he aware of the detrimental effect this move would have on the economic, political—[Laughter.]—or, rather, social life and prospects—also detrimental to the Government's political prospects, I may say—of this area, which has a tremendous potential for growth?

Mr. Hattersley

I do not want to pursue ad nauseam points made on the previous Question, but I believe that the hon. Gentleman's point here is entirely inconsistent with that which he was previously making. In our view, not only is the move necessary in defence terms, but it would be of net economic benefit to the area.