HC Deb 21 January 1970 vol 794 cc482-3
3. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total number of persons currently employed by the Land Commission in Scotland; and what has been the total acreage of land in Scotland secured by the Land Commission and released for housebuilding to date.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. William Ross)

72 employees; and 193 acres, of which 152 have been released for housebuilding.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

A ratio of one civil servant for every two acres released suggests a pretty high bureaucratic population density, does it not? Would not the Secretary of State agree that a body which has failed to produce hardly any more revenue than it costs to run is purely an exercise in bureaucratic nonsense and should be abolished as quickly as possible?

Mr. Ross

The hon. Gentleman's arithmetic is not simple arithmetic but the arithmetic of a simpleton. Obviously the Commission took some time to get going. It has already approved for acquisition a further 11 sites for housing totalling 1,140 acres, and has under active consideration another 18 sites totalling 1,500 acres. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman had better start redoing his arithmetic.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

Could the right hon. Gentleman improve on his own arithmetic and tell us how much of the acreage which he has mentioned he expects to become available and released for house building during the next 12 months?

Mr. Ross

Not without notice.

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