§ MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, when a Treasury Minute will be issued giving an undertaking that, in the event of the Small Holdings Commissioners carrying out a scheme where the county council have declined to do so for fear of incurring a loss, and such scheme does result in a loss, the whole of such loss shall be borne by the Treasury.
(Answered by Mr. Asquith.) A Treasury Minute, dated 31st December, 1907, stating the conditions under which one-half of any loss incurred by a local authority in carrying out a scheme under the Act would be paid from public funds, was communicated to county councils and county boroughs by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries on the 25th ultimo, and was also sent to the Press. No undertaking was ever given that, where a loss is entailed by action of the Commissioners in default of a council, the whole of that loss should be borne by the Treasury. The Act empowers the Treasury in such cases to pay the whole or any part of such loss, but each ease 1373 must be considered on its merits and in relation to the surrounding circumstances.