HC Deb 17 April 1923 vol 162 cc1861-2

asked the Under-Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health whether he is aware that Mr. Matthew Harkins, who occupied one of the small-holdings at. Parkhead, Linlithgow. in 1921, had his crops destroyed by -water as a result of boring operations by the Board of Agriculture; that Mr. Harkins instituted proceedings for compensation, which were rejected on the ground that the Government could not be sued; and whether, in view of the circumstances, he will advise that Mr. Harkins should be compensated for the actual damage done?

Captain ELLIOT

I am informed that the holder concerned did not suffer any damage from the boring operations except the temporary loss of the use of a small area of cultivable ground. In proceedings instituted by the Board of Agriculture for the recovery of a sum due by the holder after he had abandoned the holding he made a counter claim for compensation which was repelled by the Court on the ground stated in the second part of the question. The Board offered as compensation a sum of £1 which was deemed by the Court to be ample. It is not proposed to increase the amount so offered.