§ 58. Mr. ALBERY
asked the Minister of Agriculture the cost to the Treasury of smallholdings since 1920?
§ Dr. ADDISON
As the reply is rather long, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the statement:
- (i) The net capital expenditure incurred by the councils of counties and county boroughs in England and Wales in the provision of smallholdings under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, was approximately £15,250,000. Part of this sum was provided locally, but the Public Works Loan Commissioners advanced out of moneys provided by Parliament a net total of about £14,000,000 of which about £6,500,000 was advanced after 1920. The sums advanced are repayable in full with interest varying from 4¾ to 6½ per cent., the average rate being 6¼ per cent. Annual payments are made to councils to meet deficiencies due to the fact that the rents of the holdings fall short of the loan payments and the charges for repairs, management, etc. The total sums so paid in respect of the financial years 1921–2 to 1929–30 amount to £7,785,000; the figure for the current year will be £845,000, and in future years the amount will diminish, as loans are repaid, until the Exchequer contributions will finally
28 cease. The figures given cover the whole of the holdings established by councils between 1908 and 1926, there being no means of separating the deficiency on the holdings provided since 1920.
- (ii) The capital expenditure on smallholdings provided by councils under the Smallholdings and Allotments Act, 1926, is not met from moneys provided by Parliament, but the Exchequer contributes a maximum of 75 per cent. of any annual loss incurred, and the sums so paid to date amount to £9,660.
- (iii) In addition some smallholdings have been established by the Ministry itself under the Smallholding Colonies Acts, 1916 and 1918, and the Sailors and Soldiers (Gifts for Land Settlement) Act, 1916, but it is impossible to separate the cost of providing these holdings from the total expenditure incurred in operating the Acts.
§ 59. Mr. ALBERY
asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of persons who have taken up and occupied smallholdings since 1920, and also the number who have given up such holdings for various reasons since that date?
§ Dr. ADDISON
The total number of men provided with smallholdings in England and Wales between the 18th December, 1918, and the 31st March, 1926, under the Land Settlement Scheme was 24,319, of whom 5,404 had vacated their holdings for various reasons prior to the last mentioned date. The number provided with holdings after 1920 was 12,663, but it is not known how many of these vacated after that date. Between the 15th December, 1926, when the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1926, was passed, and the 31st December, 1929, a further 3,237 men were provided wits: holdings, of whom 2,840 were settled on vacant holdings established under previous Acts. It is impossible, however, to say how many of the men who vacated these holdings were settled after 1920.
§ Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS
Is the proportion of men who are giving up their holdings showing a tendency to increase or decrease as the years go on[...]
§ Dr. ADDISON
I think it is showing a decrease. In many cases, men give up their holdings to take larger holdings.