HC Deb 20 February 1918 vol 103 cc719-20

asked the Undersecretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Philip Hutley, of Witham, Essex, part of whose farm was taken over by the Government in November, 1914, to build a rifle range for the soldiers; whether the Government are prepared to compensate Mr. Hutley for the loss of meadow and arable land on which the rifle range is built; whether he is aware that forty trees were cut down by the military from Mr. Hutley's farm at Goldhanger without his consent and sold; whether he is aware that Mr. Hutley received no money for them; and will he say when this farmer will receive compensation to enable him to grow food?


A part of Mr. Philip Hutley's farm at Witham has been occupied for the purpose of a rifle range, and a representative from the War Office met Mr. Hutley on the farm on the 28th November last, and agreed the amount of compensation payable, but the settlement has been delayed owing to Mr. Hutley's landlord failing to concur. With regard to the farm at Goldhanger, Mr. Hutley in a recent letter stated that the trees had been cut down by the instructions of a representative of the Admiralty, and it is understood that they have not yet been sold. The farm has since been taken over by the War Office, and I am informed that the Command land agent is proposing to visit the farm to-day, in order to try and arrange the matter with Mr. Hutley.


When is this farmer likely to receive the compensation due him? Does my hon. Friend know that this farmer is being pressed by the Inland Revenue to pay his Income Tax and has no means of doing so by reason of the gross delay of more than two years in settling his claim?


I have made special inquiries, as my hon. Friend will gather from my reply, and I hope that every possible allowance will be made.