HC Deb 17 February 1927 vol 202 cc1109-10

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps have been taken to find employment and/or land where necessary for those colonists at Patrington who will not find employment on farms taken over by the new tenants?


As the reply is rather long, I propose with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The reply is as follows:

The general position is that out of 57 ex-service men who were regularly employed on the Patrington Farm Settlement at the beginning of September last, 14 have, already left and 43 are still on the Settlement. It is impossible to say how many men will continue to be employed on the farms into which the Estate will be divided by the Commissioners of Crown Lands after Lady Day next. At the request of the Ministry the Yorkshire branch of the British Legion made inquiries last October to ascertain how many of the settlers desired either to remain on the Estate and rent their cottages and some land direct from the Crown or to be assisted to obtain employment elsewhere. The result of the inquiries showed that eight men desired to become direct tenants of the Crown, and the Commissioners of Crown Lands have offered to each of these men cottages and an area of land. Five of them have signed agreements. One other man has purchased a small holding elsewhere, and has already removed; two other men will also be removing to take up holdings elsewhere. The British Legion forwarded to the Ministry the names of 11 men who desired to be assisted to obtain employment elsewhere. One of these has already left, one has accepted a cottage holding and one has other work in view shortly. The Ministry has made inquiries through its outdoor staff and has brought to the attention of the British Legion some suitable posts available in other districts. The Employment Exchanges have also offered assistance. As. however, about two-thirds of the settlers are natives of the Patrington district, some of them are reluctant to remove to other districts, and some offers of employment have accordingly been refused.