THE LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
My Lord's, I beg to ask the question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government whether, before any final decision on the subject is come to or carried into effect, they will furnish this House with a comprehensive list of the areas in Great Britain which they consider that the Service Departments should retain or acquire for training and kindred purposes.]
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (LORD PAKENHAM)
My Lords, as announced in the House yesterday, the Government have under consideration the demands of the Service Departments for land for training and defence purposes, and major training proposals of the same class including possible alternative areas will be considered together before a decision is reached on any of them. A White Paper dealing with general principles will be issued in due course. As regards particular areas, full opportunity will be given to the local authorities and amenity societies to make representations, and in any controversial case in which the acquisition of land is proposed a public local inquiry will be held. Because of the large number of proposals to be examined and the fact that in regard to many of them a public local inquiry would be necessary, the examination must necessarily take some time. It would not, therefore, be desirable to defer, until all the requirements of the Service Departments have been examined, a decision on any one proposal, even though it might 994 be of a minor character arousing no controversy, and in many such cases acquisition might be urgent.