HC Deb 25 November 1919 vol 121 cc1628-9
75. Mr. LUNN

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture how many ex-members of His Majesty's Forces have applied for land, under the Land Settlement Act or otherwise, in the United Kingdom; how many acres have been purchased for this purpose; and how many of the applicants have been provided with land?


The total number of ex-Service men who have applied for land in England and Wales is 25,305; and, according to the latest Returns received, the number of ex-Service applicants approved is 12,447. The area actually acquired is 161,698 acres, the additional area under consideration is 72,000 acres, and the number of ex-Service men actually in occupation of their holdings is 2,614. This last figure will be largely increased as soon as the present abnormal difficulties of providing buildings and other equipment have been overcome. For in formation regarding Scotland and Ireland I would refer the hon. Member to the Secretary for Scotland and the Secretary for Ireland respectively.


May I ask whether those figures apply entirely to the small holdings colonies under the Board of Agriculture, and have no reference to the work done under the county councils?


The figures apply both to the work of the county councils and to the work of the Board on the colonies.

Colonel J. WARD

Does not the hon. Gentleman think the fact that only 2,600 men have secured land, out of 25,000 applications, shows that some additional powers are required, if this matter is not to be delayed beyond the time when any useful purpose will be served?


No, Sir; I think that, considering that we were not allowed to buy any land until last January, and that there has been this very great difficulty in equipping the small-holdings the progress made has been more or less satisfactory.