HC Deb 09 August 1904 vol 139 c1563
MR. FULLER (Wiltshire, Westbury)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for North Huntingdonshire, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he can state how many acres of agricultural land have gone out of cultivation in England and Wales since 1874; and whether he can state the total rateable value of rural districts in England and Wales in 1873 and 1903 respectively.

*MR. AILWYN FELLOWES (Huntingdonshire, Ramsey.)

A comparison of the Agricultural Returns of England and Wales for 1874 and 1903 shows in the latter year a decrease of 2,683,639 acres of land under the plough and an increase of 3,448,321 acres under permanent pasture. With regard to the second part of the Question, I am informed by my right hon. friend the President of the Local Government Board that the total rateable value of the rural sanitary districts in England and Wales for the year 1873–74, as shown in No. 3 Abstract of the Local Taxation Returns for that year, was £53,191,434; and according to the statements annexed to the reports of the union; assessment committees, the rateable value of the rural sanitary districts at Ladyday, 1903, was £52,565,185. In connection with the decrease in the rateable value it must be remembered that the total area under the jurisdiction of the rural sanitary authorities has been much reduced in the interval by the formation and extension of urban districts.