HC Deb 23 July 1923 vol 167 cc27-8

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouth in 1896 recommended the appointment of a Commission in order to survey with the utmost particularity the Crown lands and rights in Wales; and whether he will consider the appointment of such Commission in order to carry out the recommendations of the Commission of 1896?

The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Sir Robert Sanders)

I have been asked to reply. The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part of the question, the objects which the Royal Commission had in view have been so far attained by administration that the appointment of the suggested Commission is not now necessary and would only result in unprofitable expenditure.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Royal Commission made an assertion with regard to the deliberate robbery and filching of State lands and advised that the Commission which they proposed to set up should have powers of a judicial nature and be enabled to call for deeds of title to the land alleged to have been stolen from the Crown?


The object of the Commissioner's assertion was to show that the Crown was not making enough money out of these lands. The revenue in 1850 was £5,000 odd. In 1880 it was £13,000 odd, and in 1888, £19,000 odd. Besides that, the sales of these Crown properties between 1849 and 1888 realised over £150,000, and since 1888 the sales realised over £14,000. So the Crown has not done badly out of that.


Is it not the fact that the evidence showed that there had been deliberate filching of Crown land and that the Royal Commission suggested that the deeds of title should be demanded?


Is it in order for a Minister to read Supplementary answers to questions which are not asked?