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Requisitioned Land, Fylingdale Moor

Volume 440: debated on Tuesday 22 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War if he will give an immediate decision with regard to the question of the derequisitioning of Fylingdale Moor, in view of the fact that his predecessor, in a reply on 7th May, 1946, expected to give a decision in the course of that summer.

It is not possible to give an immediate decision as to the derequisitioning of Fylingdale Moor, since the area is proposed for permanent retention as a military training area, although this proposal is under consideration by the Inter-Departmental Committee on Service Land Requirements, and a local public inquiry will no doubt be held before a decision as to permanent retention is made. I regret that investigations into the question of training areas have taken considerably longer than my predecessor foresaw.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the dismay in the locality at the Government's inability to come to a decision in this matter, and can he give some assurance that in no case does he propose to fire across the Scarborough-Whitby High Road, or across that part of the moor which carries the electricity to Whitby?

I think that, in answer to the first part of the Question, it only goes to show what careful examination is being given to conflicting interests. With regard to the second part, I could not answer that without notice.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that the retention of this area and other areas, in spite of all the pledges which have been given, is not unconnected with the lack of enthusiasm for recruitment to the Army, and will he therefore hasten on the local public inquiries, as, otherwise, the Army will grow more and more unpopular?

Is it not rather unreasonable to expect the Government, if they cannot carry out their promises, to carry out those of their predecessors?