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Crichel Down Inquiry

Volume 530: debated on Monday 12 July 1954

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71.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what directions he gave, after agreeing, on 17th February, to make a firm decision within two months about the sale of Crichel Down to Crown Lands, in his capacity as ex-officio Commissioner for Crown Lands, as to the means by which Crown Lands should seek a tenant for the land proposed to be bought; and what instructions were given about drawing the prospective tenancy to the attention of Lieut.-Commander Marten.

None. The option on the land was offered to the Commissioners of Crown Lands on my behalf as Minister of Agriculture, and I asked for a decision within two months because the Agricultural Land Commission would need to make alternative arrangements for equipping the land should the Commissioners of Crown Lands decide not to buy it. No special directions or instructions were given about the selection of a tenant as this was a matter of ordinary day-to-day administration.

72.

asked the Minister of Agriculture the terms of the letter sent by the Lands Service to Mr. T. C. Tozer, on or about October, 1950, in reply to his application to be considered as a tenant for Crichel Down.

The terms of the letter were as follows: "In reply to your letter of the 11th October. This property is not at the present time being offered to let, but your application will be borne in mind."

73.

asked the Minister of Agriculture the cause of the delay between the receipt of correspondence on Crichel Down from the bon. Member for the Northern Division of Dorset on 14th June, 1952, and the initiating of an investigation on 14th July, 1952.

The points raised in the letter of 13th June from my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Crouch) had first to be considered within my Department before deciding what additional information was needed.