HC Deb 13 May 1918 vol 106 cc35-6
61. Mr. WATT

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether, out of the applications for laud in the Island of Arran, there were 14 applicants, suitable in every way, who were refused any land; whether several of these applicants had sons, some of them as many as four and five, serving in the various fronts; whether the Board of Agriculture in every case accepted the advice of the representative of the principal landowner there and did not once insist on getting land for applicants in any instance; and whether the Board is at present taking any action in this matter?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I have no in-formation as to the second part. As regards the third part, I am not aware of any difference of opinion between the gentleman referred to and the executive officer employed by the Board. I must demur to the assumption underlying the question, that the primary object of action under the Defence of the Realm Regula- tions is to obtain land for applicants. The primary object is to increase food production, and any action the Board have taken or may take is designed to secure this object.


Does not the Department of the right hon. Gentleman think it necessary to find out in these applications if the applicants have four or five sons fighting at the front?


I have said I have no information on the subject.