HC Deb 24 July 1912 vol 41 c1161

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the continuing depletion of the population of the rural districts and of the fact that a similar depletion has been taking place in France and elsewhere, he will appoint a Committee to consider and report upon the question, such Committee being expressly charged to take evidence upon the rural exodus in other countries and upon the steps, if any, that have been taken by them, respectively, to check it?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. I am well aware of the facts stated by the hon. Member, and the question of finding means to check the tendency of the population in this country to leave the rural districts is engaging my careful consideration. The conditions in other countries are not analogous, and I do not think that a Committee such as the hon. Member suggests would serve a useful purpose.


Is it not a fact that a Private Committee is sitting at the present moment the object of which is to find some method of arresting rural depopulation, and has it not been asserted by a gentleman in high position that that depopulation is due to our feudal system, and is it not a fact—


The hon. Gentleman can scarcely expect an answer to that question without putting it on the Paper.


Would not this be a subject of reference to the Committee that is now preparing the great lex agraria?