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Uncultivated Land, Industrial Areas

Volume 390: debated on Thursday 3 June 1943

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5o.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that there are large plots of land in industrial areas suitable for cultivation lying idle and derelict; is he satisfied that his Department or the local authorities have got sufficient powers for taking over such land for cultivation purposes, either as allotments or by local farmers; and, if not, will he take further powers?

I am not aware that any large extent of land suitable for cultiva- tion in industrial areas is lying idle and derelict, but if the hon. Member will quote any specific instance, I shall be glad to look into it. I am satisfied that my existing powers under Defence Regulations are adequate to secure the cultivation of any such land, so far as is practicable.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that speculators bought land before the war and cleared off allotment holders and are now holding up that land for building purposes, so that at present it is lying derelict, although it might be made to serve a useful purpose in growing food?

I have just said that I did not know of any cases. If the hon. Member has a specific case and will let me have the particulars, I will have it dealt with.