HC Deb 04 March 1918 vol 103 cc1698-9
36. Colonel THORNE

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if he is aware of the discontent in the minds of the small allotment holders in the various parts of the country on account of having no permanency of tenure for their allotments; and whether the Government intend passing through the House a one-Clause Bill to give them the absolute protection they desire?


The Government are aware of the feeling on this subject, but, in view of the fact that much of the land now used as allotments will be required for building purposes after the War, it is impracticable to guarantee permanence of tenure. Allotment holders can, however, in the great majority of cases, rely upon retaining their plots for a sufficient period to enable them to obtain an adequate return for their labour and expenditure, and the Board have made provision for payment of compensation to occupiers of land taken under the Cultivation of Lands Order, 1917 (No. 2), who may have to be disturbed before the end of the present year. The whole position in respect of allotments is being carefully considered by the Government.

Colonel THORNE

Do I understand from that reply that we are to go back to the old silly conditions after the War is over, and are to rely on the food products from other parts of the world?


I very much hope that we shall not.


Does the right hon. Gentleman's answer apply to land which is being sold, not for building purposes, to those who already have large holdings, and have allotments been sold to those who already have large holdings?


In those cases I presume that the allotment holder would have a right to compensation against either the vendor or the purchaser.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in villages situated in large parks no allotments are available, and in these circumstances can he say what a man is to do who wishes to obtain an allotment, but cannot get the owners of the surrounding ground to grant one?


I am not aware of any instances where villages are situated in the middle of large parks.


What action is a man to take if he is in a park district and cannot obtain allotment ground?


The hon. Member should give notice of that question.


Is the compensation for these unexhausted improvements to be paid by the taxpayers or by the landlords who are getting building site prices for the land?


They will be paid for by the Board of Agriculture, and therefore by the taxpayers.

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