§ MR. H. H. MARKS
I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, how many labourers employed by the drown on the Harwell Estate in Cambridgeshire have been discharged from their employment in connection with the scheme for converting the estate into small holdings; the length of service of each of them on that property; how many of them have been re-housed; how many of them have been compensated for their loss of employment and the loss of their homes.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
The Crown farm at Burwell, comprising 917 acres, which was in hand, has been let on lease for twenty-one years to my hon. friend the Member for Newmarket. He has sub-let it to fifty-nine small holders who are now settled on the land. The number of labourers who received notice was thirty-nine, eight of whom had worked on the farm for over twenty years, two between fifteen and twenty years, four between ten and fifteen years, twelve between five and ten years, and thirteen under five years. A sum of £389 has been paid by my hon. friend to these men as compensation, in accordance with a scheme drawn up by the Office of Woods, and based on length of service. A considerable number of the men were at once taken on by the new tenants, and all the others have now found other employment in the neighbourhood. There are fourteen cottages on the farm, which were occupied by twenty-two of the labourers. The occupants of nine of these cottages have had to leave their cottages, but they have found other accommodation in the neighbourhood, and the cost of their removal has been paid. The remainder have been allowed to remain, and it is unlikely that they will be disturbed at all. I may add that I am informed by my hon. friend that every labourer on the estate was given an opportunity of taking 710 a portion of the land, and that although he only entertained applications from those who lived in Burwell or the immediate neighbourhood it has been quite impossible to satisfy all their demands.
§ MR. H. H. MARKS
Does the £389 comprise the whole amount of compensation to be divided among the thirty-nine labourers and their families who have been disturbed?
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
I may say that the hon. Member for New-market has acted in a most generous way in agreeing to provide all compensation provided for on the scheme drawn up by the Office of Woods and Forests. He left the matter entirely to that body.
§ LORD TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)
Is it proposed to carry out any more wholesale evictions on Crown Lands?
§ MR. CHIOZZA MONEY
How many of the dispossessed labourers were settled on the newly created holdings?