§ 14. Mr. R. Gibson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the serious rating hardships to which those smallholders are exposed in Scotland who have had to build on their holdings houses on which they have at present to pay both owners' and tenants' rates, resulting in a payment of rates in some cases equal to or more than six times the rent of the holdings; whether he will consider, in the case of such smallholdings let by the Department of Agriculture, the re-letting of the holding and the house as a unum quid to the smallholder; and whether he has any statement to make generally regarding the removal of this type of rating hardship?
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Elliot)
I regret I am unable to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for the Western Isles (Mr. M. MacMillan) on 16th February, of which I am sending the hon. and learned Member a copy.
§ 15. Mr. Gibson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many smallholdings there are within five miles of the boundary of Greenock; what extent of land within that area is suitable for smallholdings; and what steps he proposes to take to make such land available for smallholdings?
§ Mr. Elliot
There are approximately 70 holdings of 50 acres or less in extent within the area indicated. With regard to the remaining parts of the question, I would refer to the reply I gave to a similar question by the hon. and learned Member on 29th January last.
§ Mr. Gibson
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these smallholdings are under the Smallholders (Scotland) Act, and whether the smallholders have the right of security of tenure and a fair rent?