HC Deb 04 January 1916 vol 77 cc795-6
13. Mr. COWAN

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he has any official information regarding the employment of a considerable number of able-bodied men, including men of military age, in laying out a new golf course near Gleneagles Station, on the main line of the Caledonian Railway; whether this golf course is situated in a bleak and sparsely inhabited tract of country owned by an English company; and whether, having regard to the absence of local interest in the scheme and the desirability of releasing men for military or other national service and for productive labour, he proposes to take any action in the matter?

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. McKinnon Wood)

As the result of inquiries I have made, I am informed that about forty-four men are employed on the golf courses at Gleneagles, mainly on the maintenance of the courses. The number is being gradually reduced, and it is expected that a reduction of about one-half will be effected in the course of a few weeks. Of those employed five are eligible for military service, all of whom have been attested. The men employed are stated to belong to the district, and the ordinary labourer's wage current in the district is being paid. The golf courses in question have been constructed by an English company, which was formed for the purpose of building a hotel and laying out golf courses at Gleneagles. Whether the ground belongs to the company or not I do not know. I have no power to take any action in the matter, but I think it very desirable in present circumstances that labour on golf courses should be reduced to a minimum.


Can the hon. Gentleman suggest that the Board of Agriculture should lay out some small holdings instead of golf courses?


I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Board of Agriculture have nothing to do with laying out golf courses.