§ SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. J. W. Lowther) as representing the Charity Commissioners, whether he is aware that a field belonging 144 to the charity called the Poor's Land at Hazlebury Bryan, in the county of Dorset, is being set out in allotments under "The Allotments Extension Act, 1882," whether he is aware that, though this field is stated to have been let to a farmer at £3 per acre, the labourers are now called upon to pay £5 14s. 6d. per acre with a quarter's rent in advance, and whether there is any adequate reason for such a great increase in the rent?
MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)
The answer to the first question is in the affirmative. The Charity Commissioners are informed that the land in question is let at the rate of £3 11s. 5d. per acre, the tenant paying all out-goings; and that the rent proposed to be charged for the first year to the allotment holders is at the rate of £5 6s. per acre. The reason for this increase is that the trustees have added to the rent hitherto paid the expenses of setting out the land for allotments as well as the ordinary outgoings, as directed by the Allotments Extension Act, 1882, Sec. 13. It is understood, however, to be their intention, after the first year, to reduce the rent proposed to be charged, by such a proportion of it as represents the expenses of setting out the land.
§ SIR WALTER FOSTER
Would it not be better to spread the excessive payment charged in the first year over a series of years?
MR. J. W. LOWTHER
Perhaps that would be the most rational plan, but I do not know whether it is in the power of the Trustees to do so. I will see that a letter is written to them on the point.