§ 24. Captain R. TERRELL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction which exists with regard to the slow progress made in the provision of small holdings; and what steps he proposes to take to expedite it?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Sir Arthur Boscawen)
The Board are fully 17 aware of the dissatisfaction referred to, and every effort is being made to expedite progress. Forty-five thousand acres have already been acquired, and negotiations are in progress for an additional 100,000 acres, but it is urgent that the Land Settlement Bill should be passed into law, so that the process of acquiring land and obtaining vacant possession may be expedited. In the meantime, the Board are urging county councils to use their existing powers of acquisition to the fullest possible extent, but, as no land could be purchased prior to the Armistice, some time must elapse before the necessary houses and buildings can be erected and the holdings are ready for occupation.