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Temporary Defences, South Coast

Volume 477: debated on Monday 17 July 1950

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asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that the beauty of many parts of the South Coast has been ruined by the failure to clear away rusty ironwork and ruined gunposts which formed part of the coast defences in the last war; and what steps he will take to have these eyesores removed.

So far as I am aware the bulk of the temporary defences have been removed from the South Coast under a comprehensive scheme organised by the War Department in conjunction with local authorities. Otherwise, temporary defence works on private land are removed, where it is expedient in the public interest, by my Department so far as funds, labour and plant can be made available for this purpose.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, although these defences have been removed from the seashore, in many cases they have merely been dumped at the back of the shore? Some of the most beautiful parts of the coast are littered with rusty ironwork and crumbling defences. Will he get in touch with the Minister of Health and plan a concerted drive with him to clear this up in time for the Festival of Britain?

I can assure my hon. Friend that I hate these things wherever I see them. If she will give me particulars, I will certainly take steps in the matter.

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider asking local authorities to get this work done by voluntary labour? If he can get the countryside cleared up he will justify his appointment by that fact alone.