HC Deb 06 April 1937 vol 322 cc45-7W
Mr. Markham

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will indicate the acreage of agricultural land used since 1919 for building, road extension, reservoirs, aerodromes, and other nonagricultural purposes; and whether, in view of the importance of food production in any national emergency, he is seeking powers to ensure, firstly, that a sufficiency of land is reserved for agriculture in connection with schemes adopted under the Town and Country Planning Act and, secondly, that there is some regulation of land acquisition by bodies dealing with afforestation and land settlement under national auspices?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The area of land under crops and grass in England and Wales (on agricultural holdings of one acre or more in extent) declined by 1,884,839 acres between 1919 and 1036, but I am unable to say what proportion of this land is accounted for by the several non-agricultural purposes to

which my hon. Friend refers. With regard to the reservation of land for agriculture in town and country planning schemes, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for South Salford (Mr. Stourton) on 19th January last. As regards the last part of the question, the Forestry Act, 1919, provides that before acquiring any land, and before selling or otherwise disposing of any land so acquired under that Act, the Forestry Commissioners shall consult the appropriate Agricultural Department, and, in the case of land proposed to be sold or disposed of, shall give that Department an opportunity of acquiring the same. Appropriate arrangements have been made with the Commissioners for carrying out these requirements. It is not clear what my hon. Friend has in mind in his reference to land settlement.

Mr. Touche

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will state the quantity and value of the principal home-produced agricultural products in 1931 and at the latest convenient date?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The information desired by my hon. Friend is too voluminous to be suitably given in answer to a Parliamentary question. I am sending him a table of the relevant figures.

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