HC Deb 06 July 1937 vol 326 cc151-2
7. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is taking any steps to re-start land settlement with fixity of tenure and fair rents; and whether he has any policy for utilising the 3,500,000 acres of idle land now under deer in Scotland?

Captain Hope

Land settlement under the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts with fixity of tenure and fair rents has continued without interruption since 1912, but in industrial areas the alternative tenure prescribed by the Agricultural Holdings Acts has of recent years been considered to be more appropriate. As regards the last part of the question, my right hon. Friend is not satisfied that any extensive action for utilising deer forests for purposes of agriculture or small holdings would be economically practicable in present circumstances.

Mr. Mathers

May I say through you, Mr. Speaker, that as it would not be fair to argue this matter with the hon. and gallant Gentleman who is answering for the Scottish Office, I will pursue the matter later?

Mr. Davidson

Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman convey to his right hon. Friend the fact that the Highland Economic League have definitely stated that much of this deer land could be used for agricultural purposes, and will he investigate that statement of the League, in which he is himself a participant?

Captain Hope

I will convey that to my right hon. Friend.