§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he was aware that in many cases where the Board had authorised a loan to provide buildings for small holdings constructed of sound timber creosoted under pressure for a period of thirteen years only, the Board of Agriculture had, with full knowledge of the circumstances, advised county councils that they were justified in applying for a loan for twenty-five 16 years; that the durability of such material was estimated by many building experts to be almost equivalent to that of brick; that the limitation of such a loan to thirteen years necessitates small holders being charged annually an additional rent amounting to about 9 per cent, upon the capital cost of the buildings, or nearly twice that usually charged by an individual landowner; and that the onerous terms required by the Local Government Board in the case of loans required by county councils for the equipment of small holdings was creating a serious deadlock in the administration of The Small Holdings Act, 1908; and whether, in order to facilitate the provision of small holdings on favourable terms to deserving applicants, the Board would extend such loans to the period suggested as appropriate by the Board of Agriculture?
§ Mr. BURNS
I am aware that the period allowed by the Local Government Board for the repayment of loans for buildings constructed of timber creosoted under pressure is thirteen years, and that officers of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries have suggested to the county council that they should apply for a loan for twenty-five years in respect of such buildings. I am also aware that varying estimates are held as to the durability of the material, but I have not yet heard of the expert who seriously expressed the view that its durability is almost equivalent to that of brick. The difference in the amount required to repay £100 in thirteen years instead of twenty-five is about £3 13s. per annum, or a little over 3½ per cent. I am in communication with my colleagues at the Board of Agriculture on the subject of the terms allowed for the repayment of these and other loans under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act.
§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
May I ask whether we are to understand from that reply that some arrangement is likely to be come to on this matter?