HC Deb 08 February 1972 vol 830 cc1117-8
4. Mr. David Clar

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set up a departmental working party into land use of upland marginal areas, in view of Great Britain's proposed entry to the European Economic Community.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

The Government have it very much in mind that the various uses of land in the upland marginal areas need to be considered on a comprehensive basis, taking account also of the Community's thinking on these aspects. My right hon. Friends are considering whether any special machinery is needed for this purpose and, if so, what form it should take.

Mr. Clark

I thank the hon. Gentleman for what could be an encouraging reply. Does he appreciate that when and if we enter the Common Market the whole agricultural pattern, and perhaps the landscape of the upland areas, could be changed? Would his Department look at the possibility of setting up a departmental committee, because only his Department has access to the multitudinous regulations?

Mr. Stodart

On land use, one must consider matters such as farming, forestry, tourism and recreation in the upland areas. All must be complementary and must not conflict. I take note of the hon. Gentleman's suggestion.

Mr. Charles Morrison

Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that those who farm in upland marginal areas should be much encouraged by Dr. Mansholt's remarks last week to the effect that the Community has a great deal to learn from practice in this country in respect of its land?

Mr. Stodart

Yes, Sir.