HC Deb 09 December 1908 vol 198 cc469-70

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that the Kent County Council is negotiating for the acquisition of the dairy farm at Crockham Hill under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1907; that the official surveyor to the county council is acting for the owner of the farm as well as for the council; and that applicants for land are asked by the surveyor to pay a rent of 25s. an acre, whereas the present tenant pays only 10s. an acre; and whether he can take steps to prevent the same person acting for both parties in these negotiations, as this practice must militate against small holdings being supplied at reasonable rates.


The Board are aware of the negotiations to which my hon. friend refers, but they understand that the surveyor to the council is not acting also for the owners of the farm. A proposal to appoint a salaried agent who will devote his whole tune to the work arising under the Act is now under the consideration of the county council. Until the negotiations with respect to the acquisition of the land are further advanced, it is not possible to say at what rent it will be possible to let the small holdings which it is proposed to create.