asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will state the extent of the land that has been offered for small holdings within the Duchy; the dates on which such offers were made; whether these offers were made by advertisement s in the newspapers; and what the terms of the offers were?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. Joseph Pease)
The extent of the land which has been offered for small holdings within the Duchy since the passing of the Small Holdings Act, 1907, is 1,459 acres. The dates on which the offers were made were: (1) 360 acres to the County Council of the North Riding 192 of Yorkshire in October, 1908, (2) 179 acres to the Lindsey County Council in Lincolnshire in December, 1908, (3) 119 acres to the North Riding County Council in March, 1909, (4) 221 acres to the Northamptonshire County Council in February, 1910, (5) 256 acres to the Staffordshire County Council in October, 1910, and (6) 324 acres to the Staffordshire County Council in December, 1910; the offers in every case except Lincolnshire were refused. None of these offers were made by advertisement in the newspapers, but all direct in writing to the respective councils; the rents asked were reasonable, as I think is proved by the fact that where the offers were refused, in every case the farms have since been let at the same or an increased rent.
Has the right hon. Gentleman no intention of lowering the rents so that these small holdings may be taken?
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
The rents I suggest are reasonable and are proved to have been reasonable, and of course I am not concerned with the reasons which influenced the Council Councils in rejecting the offers that have been submitted.