§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES (The EARL OF ANCASTER)
My Lords, the object of this Bill is two-fold. In the first place, it proposes to extend the time during which loans for the settlement of ex-Service men on the land may be granted by the Public Works Loan Commissioners both in England and Scotland. Under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, the 584 Treasury were given power for the period of two years—namely, to August 19, 1921—to issue to the Public Works Loan Commissioners sums not exceeding £20,000,000, and the Commissioners were empowered to make loans to the county councils and councils of county boroughs to authorise capital expenditure for the purpose under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1908. This Bill proposes to extend that period for a further two years until August 19, 1923. That is owing largely to the fact that since the Armistice building has been very difficult, and we are desirous that the period shall be prolonged.
So far as Scotland is concerned, the further period of two years will extend to September 27, 1923, or such further period as the Treasury may fix. The reason for the extension to Scotland is exactly the same as applies to England and Wales. The second purpose of the Bill is to make available for the purpose of settlement upon land, the sum of £750,000, which increases the amount of the original grant to £3,500,000, the amount available for loan purposes for the Board of Agriculture for Scotland. I hope your Lordships will give a Second Reading to this Bill.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a—(The Earl of Ancaster.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a.
§ Standing Order No. XXXIX having, been suspended, Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House forthwith. House in Committee accordingly: Bill reported without amendment, and read 3a, and passed.