HC Deb 25 April 1939 vol 346 cc933-4
1. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number and acreage of allotments being used for the production of foodstuffs in Scotland in 1933 and 1938, respectively; and whether he is taking steps to increase the area of land being so utilised, in view of the need for conserving and increasing our available food supplies in the national interest?

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Colville)

According to returns furnished by local authorities, there were 21,417 allotments, totalling 1,400 acres, in cultivation in Scotland in 1933, and 19,378 allotments, totalling 1,372 acres, in cultivation in 1938. The responsibility of providing allotments is placed by Statute on local authorities, and financial assistance is given to them, and to local allotment associations, to help in providing equipment. Annual grants are also made to the Joint Committee of the Scottish National Union of Allotment Holders and the Society of Friends to encourage the demand for allotments. I am considering whether any further steps can be taken to ensure that the fullest possible use is made of these provisions.

Mr. Mathers

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, so far as England is concerned, the Minister of Agriculture has recently urged the importance of this matter upon local authorities? Will he do the same?

Mr. Colville

I am considering what are the most useful steps to take. Recently I had a deputation to see me on the subject.