HC Deb 24 June 1919 vol 117 cc15-6
20. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Secretary for Scotland the number of applications which have been received from ex-Service men for settlement as small holders in Scotland under the Small Holding (Colonies) Act; the date when each parcel of land was purchased; and the number of small holdings which can be provided out of the land so acquired?


As the answer is somewhat lengthy, my right hon. Friend is circulating the information in the Official Report.

The answer referred to is as follows

I understand that, without taking into account numbers of applicants who applied as civilians, and have not yet been identified as having been on service, 1,296 applications were received by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland from Service men up to 31st May, 1919. At that date the Board had purchased or concluded agreements for purchase of the following properties under the Small Holding (Colonies) Acts:

At Whitsuntide,1918, Mid and Nether Locharwood, Dumfriesshire 555
At Martinmas, 1918, Arabella Easter, Ross 644
At Whitsuntide, 1919, Foulden, Lamberton and Mordington, Berwickshire 4,107
Dysart, Fifeshire 671
Gagie, Forfarshire 1,484
Castle Huntly, Perthshire 689
Geanies Easter, Ross 530
At Martinmas, 1919, Fortrie, Aberdeenshire 836
Moy, Argyllshire 330
Maxwood, Ayrshire 239
Total 10,085

So far the Board have only secured vacant possession of Midlocharwoods, Arabella, and Geanies, but other farms fall out of lease at Martinmas and succeeding terms. It is not possible at this stage to reply to the last part of the question.


Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman say if a single man has been placed on the land under the Small Holding (Colonies) Act?


I think the information that will be circulated will meet the point.

21. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether any special official of the Scottish Board of Agriculture is at present charged with the supervision of the schemes for land settlement of ex-Service men in Scotland; whether any schemes have yet been completed under which particular small holdings have been allotted to individual applicants; and the number of small holdings to which entry will be obtained by Martinmas, 1919?


This branch of the Boards work is in the charge of the Small Holding Commissioner, who has the assistance of four sub-commissioners and four assistants; and these numbers are in process of being materially increased. Several schemes have been completed, and thirty-five holdings and one enlargement bad been allotted to ex-Service men as at 31st May last, in addition to which employment has been given on farms in the Board's occupation to eighteen prospective holders who are discharged soldiers. The number of holdings to which' entry can be given at Martinmas, 1919, depends so largely on the practicability of equipping them with buildings that any estimate now given would be unreliable. It is hoped to overcome the difficulty in part by the use of Army huts, of which the Board have acquired a large number.


Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the thirty-five men to whom he refers were registered smallholders before the War and have only been put back? Can he say whether any single new man has been put on the land?


I am not sure I can accept the suggestion that the whole of these thirty-five men were smallholders before the War. I have no further information to give my hon. Friend than I have already given him.