§ 18. Mr. LAMBERT
asked the Minister of Agriculture why the five settlements comprising 9,456 acres, purchased by the Ministry for £327,919, are burdened with 1,375 perpetual annuities of £l each; to whom are these annuities paid and why this unusual method of payment was adopted; does the £18,500 perpetual rent-charge, together with the annuities, balance the rent receivable by the Ministry; and what is the credit or debit balance?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)
As the answer is somewhat long and contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
Is it possible to obtain a financial synopsis of this interesting piece of State Socialism?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
I have prepared the answer to the question raised by my right hon. Friend. If he wishes for further information, I shall be glad to let him have that also.
§ Following is the answer:
§ The sum of £327,919 referred to was not the amount for which the settlements were purchased, but included £299,503 in respect of the subsequent capital expenditure on buildings and improve- 10 ment the difference between these two namely, £28,416, was the construction money paid in cash in addition to the annuities and perpetual rentcharge in respect of the purchases. The 1,3[...] perpetual annuities of £1 are payable to the executors of the late Mr. A. O. Young in respect of some 1,600 acres of land at Amesbury purchased by the Ministry in 1919. At the time of the purchase of these lands the consideration money was, in accordance with the powers contained in Section 7 of the Small Holdings Colonies Act, 1916, agreed to be payable as to £7,500 by way of cash payment and the balance by way of perpetual annuities of £1,375. The perpetual rentcharge of £18,500 is payable in respect of the Ministry's Small Holdings Estate at Sutton Bridge, which was purchased in 1919 from the Governors of Guy's Hospital. The gross rents receivable by the Ministry from these two estates are approximately £24,125, which is £4,250 in excess of the sum of the annuities of £1,375 and the perpetual rentcharge of £18,500.