HC Deb 29 June 1908 vol 191 cc370-1

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether the Small Holdings Commissioners have as yet taken any steps to exercise the powers conferred upon them of providing small holdings in any locality, under Clause 16 of the Act; whether their attention has been called to the successful experiments of this kind recently carried out by the Government in Hungary with practically no cost to the State; and whether, in view of the fact that the councils of several counties show considerable reluctance to administer the Act, they will consider the advisability of establishing experimental holdings in various parts of this country, as the Act allows.


The action taken by the President of the Board as a Commissioner of Woods, as to which full information will be given in his forthcoming Annual Report for 1907–8, has sufficiently demonstrated the feasibility of the establishment of small holdings, and the Board do not think it is necessary for them, at any rate at present, to take any action under the enactment to which my hon. friend refers. They do not agree that several counties show considerable reluctance to administer the Act. The Board are aware that the provision of small holdings is engaging the attention of the Agricultural Department in Hungary, but they have as yet received no definite information as to any successful experiments recently carried out in that country. Inquiries on the subject will be made.