HL Deb 25 October 1960 vol 225 cc1085-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government

Whether they will state the Acts of Parliament, and the precise sections of those Acts, under which Government Departments have power to compulsorily acquire land from private owners for the use of the armed forces of a foreign power.


The powers of the Service Departments to acquire land compulsorily are contained in the Defence Acts. 1842–1935, as amended by the Lands Clauses Consolidation Acts Amendment Act, 1860, the Admiralty Lands and Works Act, 1864, the Militia (Lands and Buildings) Act, 1873, the Naval Works Act, 1895, the Military Lands Act, 1892–1903, and the Requisitioned Land and War Works Acts, 1945 and 1948.

Land in the United Kingdom for the use of visiting forces as defined by the Visiting Forces (Application of Law) Order, 1954 (S.I. 1954 No. 635, Article 3 (1)), is acquired under the above Acts and held in the name of the Admiralty, the Secretary of State for War or the Secretary of State for Air in trust for Her Majesty, depending upon which Department is most closely concerned. These powers have been exercisable on behalf of the Visiting Forces by the provisions of Section 8 (1) of the Visiting Forces Act, 1952.

As an example, in a current case where the Secretary of State for Air proposes to acquire compulsorily five acres of land at Ringstead, Dorset, for the construction of a United States Air Force wireless station, the powers to be used derive from the undermentioned Acts and Statutory Instruments:

Defence Act, 1842, Sections 16 and 18.

The Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1945—Part VII.

The Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1948—Section I.

Visiting Forces Act, 1952, Section 8 (1).

Visiting Forces (Application of Law) Order 1954, (S.I. 1954, No. 635) Articles 3 (1), 5 (1) and the First Schedule to the Order.

The powers of the principal officers of Her Majesty's Ordnance, named in Section 16 of the Defence Act, 1842, were applied to the Secretary of State for Air by the following:—

Ordnance Board Transfer Act, 1855—Section I.

Air Force Constitution Act, 1917—Section 13.

Air Force (Application of Enactments) (No. 1) Order, 1918.

Air Navigation Act, 1936—Section 24.