HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 c1860W
Sir J. Lamb

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that allotment land within the area of the London County Council is being rapidly used for other purposes and that, in most cases, alternative accommodation is not offered to those allotment holders who are displaced; and what steps he is prepared to take, in view of the needs both of national defence and social welfare, to ensure that all vacant land in this area belonging to railway companies and others is brought under allotment cultivation with reasonable security of tenure?

Mr. W. S. Morrison:

Surrenders of lands, used for allotments within the area of the London County Council, are unavoidable from time to time when land is required for purposes such as housing. The difficulties in the way of obtaining other accommodation and security of tenure are very great in view of the high value of land in the area generally and the scarcity of suitable alternative sites. I appreciate the value of allotments from the point of view of national defence and social welfare, and the importance which the Government attaches to this subject is well known to the local authorities, on whom falls the primary responsibility for taking action to meet the allotment needs of their areas. The authorities have wide statutory powers for this purpose, but existing legislation does not give power to secure that all vacant land in the London area shall be cultivated as allotments, and I am not satisfied that such a wide power would be justified in present circumstances.