§ MR. CALEB WRIGHT (Lancashire, S.W., Leigh)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to an article in the Daily News of the 12th instant, which states that in "Western Australia 1,877,015 acres of land have been sold, the average price being 10s. per acre," and that "one man has leased 3,614,325 acres, and the payment of one of his lots of 1,000,00 acres for the year is £250, and for 729 another of 700,000 £170; whether he will inform the House on what terms these leases were granted, and whether individuals or companies are allowed to purchase unlimited quantities of land in the Colony; and, whether the mines and minerals are included in the land sold?
§ BARON H. DE WORMS
I have seen that article, and am not aware that it is incorrect. The official Report prefixed to the Parliamentary Paper [C—5753], lately circulated, gives the amount of land sold as 1,877,045 acres, generally at the price of 10s. per acre. With regard to the land leased—as the whole can be resumed whenever required for sale or any public purpose—it is a great advantage to the Colonial Revenue to receive for its temporary use the rents mentioned, which represent the full value of the land under the conditions of its tenure. The second paragraph of the question has been fully answered in my reply to hon. Member for Kirkcaldy. As regards the third paragraph, gold, silver, and precious medals are reserved to the Crown in the grants of land sold. See page 107 of [C—5743].
§ MR. CALEB WRIGHT
Are there any conditions on the granting of leases for the erection of homesteads on any part of the land?
BARON H.DE WORMS
All the conditions with regard to letting and sale of land are found fully set out in the paper to which I have referred.