asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is now in a position to report on the progress of the negotiations between Greenwich Hospital and the Alston-with-Garrigill Rural District Council with regard to a lease of land owned by the former and required by the latter in connection with a water supply scheme.
Negotiations are now at an advanced stage and I hope that a satisfactory settlement will be reached shortly.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these negotiations have been going on for a very long time and that the dog-in-the-manger attitude of Greenwich Hospital has already caused grave hardship to the people of Alston-with-Garrigill? Can he promise us today that the negotiation will be brought to a satisfactory conclusion within, say, four weeks?
I know that the negotiations have been going on for a long time, but I do not blame Greenwich Hospital altogether for that. I have been into the facts of the case. A more prompt reply to letters would speed up negotiations a little.