HC Deb 07 December 1926 vol 200 cc1909-10
73. Mr. RILEY

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has now disposed of the Patrington estate; if so, will he state the terms upon which the estate has been disposed of; whether any provision has been made for the men recently employed by the Ministry; and, if so, what is the nature of the provision?


The Ministry's lease of the Patrington Farm Settlement will be surrendered to the Commissioners of Crown Lands next Ladyday Meanwhile the Commissioners have provisionally arranged to let one of the farms as from that date, and negotiations are proceeding for the re-letting of the other farms. I hope that a substantial pro- portion of the employés will secure work on the farms under the new tenants. A number have already secured work elsewhere, and the Ministry will render every assistance it can in making known the existence of suitable openings in other districts for any men who desire such information. The Ministry is also providing assistance in respect of the removal expenses of men and their families in those cases where work is obtained elsewhere.


May I ask whether it is a fact that. the Minister has erected some 40 cottages on this estate, and what will be the position of the tenants of these cottages when it is disposed of?


I think many of the tenants will get employment on the estate. Seven have expressed their wish to remain in their cottages and take additional land for small holdings.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that previous to taking over of the Patrington Estate 57 people were kept on it, but since the Government took it over 257 persons have been established there. What does he expect will happen to the 200 persons who will be thrown out of employment?


I think the hon. Member took the figure in my answer as being the number of people living on the estate. They are the people employed there.


Is it not the fact that since the Government took over the Patrington Estate the population has been multiplied by five, and what is going to happen now when these people are deprived of their livelihood?


In the great majority of cases arrangements either have been or will be made shortly for their employment.

Marquess of TITCHFIELD

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that this estate is a monument of the folly of land nationalisation?