HC Deb 17 May 1934 vol 289 cc1914-5

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is in a position to make any statement regarding suggestions which have been put before the Government for the provision on an experimental basis of a certain number of smallholdings for unemployed persons?


I have been in touch with the voluntary bodies and other persons interested in this subject, and as a result, the possibility of constituting a Smallholdings Association for England and Wales is being actively considered. The immediate object of such an association would be to provide, by way of experiment, a number of smallholdings for intensive cultivation by suitable unemployed persons. In the event of such an association being formed the Government would be prepared to contribute up to £50,000 per annum over a period of three years on a basis of £l for every £2 raised by the association by way of gift in money or its equivalent from non-State sources. In this connection, I am glad to be able to inform the House that Mr. P. Malcolm Stewart has signified his willingness to offer to such an association, if and when formed, on the basis indicated, an estate of some 700 acres at Potten in Bedfordshire.

Estimates of the numbers of insured persons in employment in individual industries are only available for June of each year. The following Table gives the estimated numbers of insured persons, aged 16 to 64, in employment in the Hosiery and Lace Industries in Great Britain at June for the years 1931, 1932 and 1933 and the numbers of insured workpeople in these industries recorded as unemployed at the end of April in each of the years 1931–1934.
Year. Estimated numbers of insured persons in employment* at the end of June of each year. Numbers of insured persons recorded as unemployed at the end of April of each year.
Hosiery. Lace. Hosiery. Lace.
1931 89,500 13,000 23,248 3,388
1932 97,500 14,000 14,436 1,973
1933 99,500 13,500 20,956 2,930
1934 13,678 1,717
* These figures include persons absent from work owing to sickness.