§ 31. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Minister of Agriculture what was the annual rental of the Crown leases in Regent Street prior to the recent rebuilding following on the extinction of the old leases; what is the rental under the new leases; and what is the estimated cost of the new buildings which have been erected or are in course of erection?
The original leases reserved rents amounting in the aggregate to £26,383 9s. 7d. It is estimated that on completion of the rebuilding the rents will amount to £450,000 per annum. The new lettings on rebuildings in some cases include small additional areas adjoining but not actually situated in Regent Street. As regards the last part of the question, I regret that the information is not available. The Commissioners of Crown Lands, when granting new building leases in Regent Street, specify a minimum sum to be expended on the erection of suitable buildings, but it is believed that in most cases the minimum has been largely exceeded.
They are apparently related to the value of the land, and, of course, there is not a sudden rise in rents, because the leases began to fall-in in 1914, and there has been a gradual increase in revenue as more of the property has been let from year to year.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that the enormous 1391 increment in land values belonging to the State proves the necessity of taxation of land values in the ease of other lands?