HC Deb 03 July 1978 vol 953 cc9-10
6. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many acres of land have been bought by the Land Commission in Wales; how much has been sold to builders; and how many houses have been built on this land.

Mr. Alec Jones

The land policy statement published by the Land Authority for Wales shows that the authority has acquired about 900 acres of land since it began trading in August 1976. Disposals to 31st March 1978 amounted to 227 acres, of which about 55 acres were for residential development. I understand that construction of dwellings has started on a number of sites and that completions have already been achieved on two; further details can be obtained from the Land Authority.

Mr. Costain

With even that miserable record looking good beside the pathetic record of the English equivalent, as the Department of the Environment is apparently so proud of its efficiency as the worst Government Department, will the hon. Gentleman tell it how to get on with its job, or abolish the Act and get rid of the Land Authority?

Mr. Alec Jones

I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman's use of the word "miserable" to describe the activities of the Land Authority for Wales. I draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to an article in the Financial Times last Friday which paid tribute to the work of the authority, indicated that it had exceeded both its targets for acquisition and its targets for disposals, and added that it was popular with the building industry.

Mr. Speaker

For the sake of the record, I should point out that it is not in order to ask Ministers to pass messages to other Departments.