§ 63. Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
asked whether, in August, 1916, the Northern Command gave notice to the owners of certain land at Lullington, in Leicestershire, that they proposed to take it as a night landing-ground; whether orders were given to cut down trees, grub up hedges, fill up drinking ponds, and level the land at a cost altogether of some £2,000; whether, six months afterwards, the scheme was abandoned; whether, about the same time, similar proceedings took place in regard to some land at Popplewick, near Nottingham, except that here hangars and other buildings were put up, and that these were subsequently also abandoned; what was the sum wasted by the nation over these proceedings; and whether anybody has been punished in connection with them?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
The ground in both these places was taken for purposes of defence. Owing to developments and alterations in the general scheme of aerial defence the immediate purpose for which the ground was taken ceased to operate. The ground, however, amply fulfilled its object as long as the situation demanded it, and in neither case therefore was the expenditure wasted. The preparation of ground to admit of safe landing by night is inevitably an expensive matter. The ground at Popplewick will almost certainly be required again, and the sheds erected will be utilised either there or elsewhere.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
What were the objects which the ground was intended to fulfil? Was it ever used at all?
§ Mr. L. JONES
Is it not the case that the land at Popplewick was found, after the expenditure had been incurred, to be wholly unsuitable?