asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent it is his practice to consult the Secretary of State for Scotland before he acquires for the use of his Department land needed for food production.
In accordance with the White Paper on needs of the Armed Forces for land for training and other purposes it is the policy of my Department to consult with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland before land is acquired.
May I ask the Minister if, when he consulted the Secretary of State for Scotland about the acquirement of the lease of the land near Lanark, he was informed that 24,000 gallons of milk and 100,000 rations of meat a year would be lost as a result of this action?
I am not aware of that, but no doubt I acquired all the relevant information.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if the Secretary of State for Scotland is satisfied about the proposed acquisition of farming land in Morayshire?
There is another Question on that.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is an alternative to the large area of productive land recently acquired in Morayshire; a large area of moorland, which could be equally well used for the same purpose?
I should like to ask the Minister if the Secretary of State for Scotland is free to refuse him the right to come into Scotland and occupy land for this purpose, or whether the Minister is able to force his will upon the Secretary of State for Scotland?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if there were a Secretary of State for Wales, he would tell him how to avoid getting his tanks into difficulties?
asked the Secretary of State for War how many acres of land he is acquiring in Morayshire; how many families are to be removed from their farms; and if he has consulted the Departments concerned as to the effect such action is likely to have on food production.
We propose to use for training some 330 acres in Morayshire, which is not expected to lead to any families moving from their farms. The Departments of Health and Agriculture for Scotland have agreed to these proposals. There is a further military requirement for about 2,500 acres of land in the county for use as a week-end training centre. My Department have made a reconnaissance with the Departments of Health and Agriculture for Scotland, with a view to finding a suitable training area. No firm proposals have yet been made.
In view of the fact that this matter affects my constituents very deeply, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will consider representations, if made to him, about using other land in the vicinity which would be less disturbing to food production and to the people living and working there?