§ SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that on 14th November, 1907, the Local Government Board wrote the parish council of Elstree that they had been advised by the Law Officers of the Crown that the expenses referred to in Section 2 (2) of the Allotments Act, 1887, while including the interest payable upon the purchase money, do not include the annual instalments of principal or payments to a sinking fund in cases where the land has been acquired by means of a loan; and whether, in view of the statement of the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, as stated by the President of the Local Government Board in reply to a Question on 21st June, 1908, and of the fact that on page 2 of Leaflet No. 215, issued by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, it is stated under the head of rent that the rents to be charged allotment holders will be fixed at sums sufficient to cover the expenses incurred in providing the allotment, such as the purchase money or rent paid by the local authority for the land, etc., he will state on what authority the Board make the last statement.
(Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The Board are aware of the communication from the Local Government Board to which my right hon. friend refers. It was based on an opinion given by the Law Officers in 1888, from which the present Law Officers dissented in 1907 on a further case submitted to them.