asked the Minister of Agriculture what is the acreage of land used for food production included in each of the areas marked 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the map provided by the Ministry of Town and Country Planning and displayed in the Library.
As I have previously informed the hon. Member, the six alternative sites suggested by the National Farmers' Union for a new town in the neighbourhood of Bracknell were not defined. The map referred to was supplied in order to give hon. Members a general picture of the position, but neither the location nor the boundaries of the areas can be taken as more than rough indications of what appears to have been intended by the Union. For example, Area No. 1 was merely described as "on the Crown Lands between Easthampstead, Crowthorne, Bagshot, and Ascot," while No. 5 was described as "Swinley Forest, south of Ascot." It would be of little use to attempt to obtain precise figures of parts of areas which are themselves so imprecise as this.
Is it not a fact that the Minister was asked to advise on the suitability of the rough areas intimated, and, if that was so, surely it was his duty to have a rough approximation made of the amount of food-producing land in those vicinities?
That is exactly what the Ministry gave. They gave the Ministry of Town and Country Planning what guidance they could as to good quality and less good quality agricultural land.
If the Minister was asked for and gave that advice, could he not let the House know what that advice was? There must have been some amount of acreage mentioned?
Not on the areas marked 1, 3, 5 and 6, since they are so indefinite.