THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
My Lords, I beg to ask for the following particulars with regard to the farm of Sea-field, in Ross-shire, now owned by the Scottish Board of Agriculture—
- 1. The price originally paid for the purchase of Seafield.
- 2. The amount which has been since expended by the Congested Districts Board and their successors, the Scottish Board of Agriculture, on the buildings and other equipment of the small holdings into which the farm has been divided; also, how much of this was a free gift to the holders, and on how much has interest to be paid in terms of the Small Holdings (Scotland) Act, and at what rate.
- 3. The annual rent originally fixed by the Board, distinguishing (a) the amount for the land; and (b) the amount for interest on buildings, &c.
- 4. The payments of rent made by the small holders in each year since their entry at Martinmas, 1911, and the amount of arrears, if any.
- 5. Whether it has been agreed by the Board that the original rent is to be revised by the Scottish Land Court or otherwise; and whether such revision has been made, and with what result.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (LORD EMMOTT)
My Lords, I am happy to be able to give the noble Earl the particulars for which he asks. In reply to the first Question, the purchase price of the farm of Seafield and of the two small adjoining farms which were bought with it was £9,325. In answer to the second Question, the amount which has since been expended on buildings and other equipment of the small holdings is £2,430, of which £1,045 was by way of grant and £1,385 by way of 1140 loans repayable in fifty years by annuities calculated at 2¾ per cent. interest. In addition the Congested Districts Board and the Board of Agriculture have paid sums amounting to about £1,500 for inspection, law charges, etc., incidental to the purchase, and for stipend, assessments, redemption of Crown dues, factoring, repairs to Seafield House, and for manure, etc., taken over at purchase. In answer to the third Question, the annual rent of the small holdings as originally fixed by the Congested Districts Board was £351 8s. 6d. That, as I understand, was for the land. The buildings are not rented; they are being purchased by the holders with the aid of loans from the Board repayable by annuities on the terms already stated. I am sorry I cannot give the noble Earl the amount of those annuities because all the loans have not been fully advanced, but the particulars I have given will show roughly what they would come to. In addition to the small holdings the property purchased comprises other miscellaneous subjects from which a rental of £105 10s. is derived. The fourth Question is as to the rent. The rents paid by the small holders during the year ended March 31, 1913, amounted to £92 2s. 6d., and during the year ended March 31, 1914, to £319 3s. 6d. The present amount of arrears is £280 4s. 11d. As to Question 5, it has been agreed by the Board of Agriculture that the rents of the small holdings shall be revised by the Land Court but the revision has not yet been made.
§ House adjourned at five minutes before Six o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.