HC Deb 09 March 1926 vol 192 c2086
32 and 33. Sir A. SINCLAIR

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) under what powers the farm of Eriboll is to be sold by the Board of Agriculture, seeing that they bought it under the authority received from Parliament for the purpose of land settlement?

(2) whether, seeing that the farm of Eriboll, which the Board of Agriculture proposes to sell, marches with the estate of Melness, where there are about 100 crofters paying an average rent of approximately £2, he will consider, before finally deciding to sell Eriboll, the possibility of a scheme for the relief of the congestion in Melness by the settlement of some of the Melness crofters on Eriboll farm at rents representing, not a return on the inflated price paid by the Board of Agriculture for Eriboll at the time of purchase, but fair rents at the present value of the subjects?


The possibility of using Eriboll farm for granting enlargements to Melness crofters has been considered, but it was deemed impracticable, and for the reasons given in my reply to the hon. and gallant Member's question a week ago, the settlement of new holders on Eriboll cannot be achieved. The rents at which the proposed holdings were offered by advertisement and otherwise were fair rents fixed by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, and were not based on the price paid for the estate. Statutory authority for the sale will he found in Section 7 of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act, 1919.


Was it not a fact that this estate was bought mainly to relieve the congestion, and was it supposed that men who were paying £2 rent in these congested areas would be able to advance £400 or £500?


I think it is quite evident that all the efforts of the Board with regard to settlement have failed.


Is it not the case that a great many of the big Liberal land owners in this part of the country are quite prepared to dispense with bog land, while retaining the best parts of their estates?

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