HC Deb 30 July 1964 vol 699 cc414-5W
Mr. Hayman

asked the Secretary of of State for Defence (1) by what authority personnel of the Coldstream Guards on 9th July tried to prevent the leader of an adventure-training expedition from taking his party across the Trowlesworthy Tors area of the Dartmoor National Park, which is a non-live ammunition training area from which the public are specifically not excluded; and which provision of the Government decision on the use of the Ringmoor training area allows helicopter-landing exercises, which can be a danger to the public, to be carried out there; (2) what complaint his Department received from a local resident that on 23rd, 24th and 25th June armed men and Service vehicles exercised on High Down, Dydford, which is outside the allocated Dartmoor training areas; whether he is aware that during the period 15th— 20th June and again on 21st— 25th June Mr. Friend, farmer of Lower Beardon Farm, Lydford, found military personnel encamped across the gateway of his field, which is outside any training area, and had some difficulty in getting them to move; and what steps he is taking to prevent such a thing happening again; (3) whether he is aware of the contravention of the undertaking given by the Military Land Agent to the Dartmoor National Park Committee in April, 1963, and reported in the Committee's minutes of 18th June, 1963, that the trackway from Petertavy running eastwards to Langstone Moor, out side the Merrivale training area, would be used by the Royal Marines, once or twice a week by no more than three or four vehicles, and that the military use of this track, which on 17th June was observed to being used by seven to eight Service vehicles at a time, is much heavier than this; and what action he proposes to take to ensure that the undertaking is kept by the Service Departments in future.

Mr. Kirk

We are already investigating specific complaints raised by the hon. Gentleman in connection with military training on Dartmoor. In my reply on 27th July, I promised to write to the hon. Gentleman as soon as possible. When I write, I will deal with these new points.