HC Deb 15 July 1929 vol 230 cc29-30
39. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he intends to introduce legislation to increase the number of small holdings?


I am not in a position at present to make any announcement on this matter.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Are we to take it that the right hon. Gentleman has no intention of introducing legislation on these lines before Christmas?


I think it will be better to wait and see.


asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of applications for small holdings made to the county councils under the Small Holdings Act, 1926; the number approved; the total acreage applied for; and what steps are being taken to satisfy the requirements of the applicants?


As the reply is rather long, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, Jo circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

On 15th December, 1926, the date of the passing of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1926, there were 5,565 applicants for holdings on the waiting lists of councils in England and Wales. Between that date and the 31st December, 1928, 6,036 additional applications were received, making a total of 11,601 applicants who required about 210,000 acres of land. These applications had been dealt with as follows up to the 31st December, 1928:

Approved and provided with holdings 2,274
Approved but still awaiting holdings 2,320
Rejected as unsuitable or withdrawn from the lists 3,782
Awaiting interview or standing over 3,225

Councils are able to settle considerable numbers of applicants on the occurrence of vacancies on their existing estates, which comprise about 28,000 holdings. In addition, schemes for the acquisition of additional land have already been approved under the Act providing for over 300 new holdings. The present agricultural situation does not encourage rapid progress, but proposals for the acquisition of further land continue to be received.