§ 18. Mr. ELLIS SMITH
asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of allotment holders in 1917, 1920 and 1934; and whether he will consider meeting the Allotment Society for the purpose of hearing evidence of the need for a measure of allotment reforms to suit present day conditions?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)
The estimated number of allotment holders in England and Wales in 1920 was 1,330,000 and in 1934 936,000. Comparable figures for 1917 are not available. As regards the second part of the question, there is already in existence an Allotments Advisory Committee, on which the National Allotments Society is represented. The committee meets from time to time to advise me on all questions relating to allotments, and its recommendations always receive the fullest consideration. In these circumstances the need for the special meeting with the society suggested by the hon. Member does not seem to arise.
§ 19. Mr. E. SMITH
asked the Minister of Agriculture how many allotment holders have been forced to give up their work through the land being required for other purposes during the years 1929, 1930, 1932, 1934 and 1935?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Commander LOCKER-LAMPSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware how many allotments have been taken away in these years?
§ Following are the statistics:
§ The returns furnished by allotment authorities in England and Wales show that the following numbers of allotment holders were occupying plots on their land which ceased to be available for allotments during the years in question: 1646
|1931 and 1932||16,720|
§ The figure for the two years 1931 and 1932 is for urban areas only. The figures for 1934 and 1935 are also for urban areas only.
§ It is impossible to say in how many cases such relinquishment of land has involved the loss of a plot to an individual allotment holder owing to lack of alternative accommodation. Where land has been purchased or appropriated for allotments by a local authority my consent is necessary to its disposal for other purposes, but in all such cases careful consideration is given to the question of alternative accommodation. I have no information as to the number of plot-holders on land in private ownership who have been dispossessed.
§ 20. Mr. E. SMITH
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will consider the necessity of taking steps for stabilising the tenure of allotments?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
The practical remedy for insecurity of tenure of allotments is the purchase of the land either by allotment associations or by local authorities, and I have recently circularised all allotment authorities urging upon them the desirability of purchasing land for allotments.
§ Commander LOCKER - LAMPSON
How can they purchase land against the purchasing power of the local authority?