10 APRIL 1936, Page 3

The Hackney Marshes Dispute . The dispute over the Hackney

Marshes involves a clear conflict of goods, not a conflict of good with evil, and-it is not right that such a conflict should be decided merely by a legal decision, however correct. For this reason,' the L.C.C. seems well advised in its decision to promote legislation for using part of Hackney Marshes—less than 10% of the whole—for housing purposes. , There is everything to be said for taking a question'nf public policy out of the law courts and before 'Parliament, which is the proper judge of such issuei.— The fundamental question which Parliament must. decide is whether there is no other suitable land available on which the L.C.C. may make a beginning with its great attack upon the slums. If, as the L.C.C. asserts, there is not, it will hardly be argued that, .even in so overcrowded a city as London, to keep 80 acres of ilatlaiey Marshes as an open space is of greater value than to house some thousands of slum-dwellers decently. There is an argument used by some of Mr. Morrison's opponents which should not be allowed to obscure this issue. It is alleged that, if 30 acres of Hackney Marshes are built over, there will be no protection left for any of London's parks and open spaces. This is not true. Every case- must be dealt with on its merits. One decision, does- not make a precedent.