HC Deb 30 November 1933 vol 283 cc1056-7
70. Sir M. WOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many holdings are to be constituted on the land purchased at Langbank, Lanarkshire, for land settlement purposes; how many holdings have been let; whether such holdings have been let under landholders' tenure with security of tenure and a fair rent as fixed under the Small Landholders Acts; and whether the tenants have the right to make permanent improvements on their holdings and, on giving up their tenancy, claim the value of these improvements as assessed by the Scottish Land Court?


As the question raises several points, I must apologise for the length of the answer. Thirteen holdings have been constituted at Langbank, Stirlingshire. Arrangements have been made for letting 10 of these and will be made in respect of the remaining three almost immediately. One holding has been let on landholder's tenure. The other tenants will sit on lease under the Agricultural Holdings Acts as recommended by the Nairne Committee. As regards tenure, the security provided by these Acts combined with the fact that the State is the landlord adequately safeguards the position of the tenant. Rents will be fixed in the first instance by the Department with my approval, and will be subject to periodic revision either by arbitration or by the Land Court as the tenants may prefer. As regards the last part of the question, the provisions of the Acts with regard to compensation at outgo will apply, and in my opinion these provisions will in practice operate to favour the Department's tenant more than the Small Landholders Acts favour the landholder.


How does the right hon. Gentleman justify imposing upon private landlords conditions of tenure which he as a State landlord is not prepared to accept himself?


I am prepared to justify my action on the proper occasion, but. I fear that the method of question and answer would not be a suitable way of doing so.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us the locality of this scheme?


I am informed that it is Langbank, Stirlingshire.