HC Deb 03 April 1922 vol 152 cc1810-1

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of commissioners and sub-commissioners of agriculture at present employed by the Government, where they are respectively stationed, the nature of their duties, and their total cost last year in salaries and allowances?


As the answer to this question is long, I will arrange for it to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Is it the intention of the Government to discontinue the service of these people?


The hon. Member had better wait till he sees the answer.

Following is the answer:

I assume that my hon. Friend refers to the Land Commissioners and Sub-commissioners employed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The numbers in England and Wales as at the 31st March, 1922, were 23 Commissioners and 19 Sub-commissioners. The staff is, however, being reduced and the numbers as at 1st June next will be 17 Commissioners and 12 Sub-commissioners. In addition, the eight Allotment Inspectors employed last year will continue to be employed during the current financial year as the pressure of work under this head prevents any reduction of staff for the present. The total salaries, including allowances for clerical assistance, paid to the Land Commissioners, Sub-commissioners and Allotment Inspectors amounted approximately during the last financial year to £40,200. The corresponding figure for the current financial year is estimated to be £26,900.

Scope of Duties.

The whole of the staff is engaged in England and Wales on the professional and technical work of the Land Department of the Ministry. The main duties of the Commissioners and Sub-commissioners are in connection with work under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, for the provision of small holdings. Under this Act, county councils and county boroughs acquire, equip and maintain land for small holding purposes, subject to the approval of the Ministry which is responsible for any loss reasonably and necessarily incurred until the property is taken over by the councils by valuation in 1926. The main duties of the Allotment Inspectors are in connection with claims for compensation from owners, tenants and plotholders of land entered upon by the Ministry under D.O.E.A. Regulations.