HC Deb 17 July 1914 vol 64 cc2285-6W

asked the Chief Secretary on what principles compensation is fixed in respect of land taken compulsorily for labourers' cottages; whether the attention of the Local Government Board has been drawn to the award recently made by Mr. George Hewson, in the case of a plot of land situated in the townland of Lettermacward, owner the Rev. J. H. Deazley, occupier Mrs. Anne Toland, in which the sum given for landlord's interest was £1 and for tenant's interest £1 10s.; whether he is aware that the plot in question was proved at an inquiry to have produced £8 worth of corn in the past season; on what grounds the arbitrator decided the capital value to be less than one-fourth of the gross annual value; and whether, if the award is held to be justified, the Board consider that a plot of land of the total selling value of £2 10s. is suitable for selection as a labourers' allotment?


No rules or instructions for the guidance of arbitrators have been issued by the Local Government Board nor have they any power to do so. Their powers are expressly limited to appointing the arbitrator and fixing the amount of his remuneration. The arbitrator is therefore quite independent of the Board and must form his own judgment as to the amount of compensation to be awarded in each case after hearing the evidence that may be brought before him and personally inspecting the land proposed to be acquired. The case referred to was included with some others as regards which the Glenties Rural District Council expressed the opinion that the arbitrator should have awarded higher compensation than he did to the parties interested. As to the value of the crops obtained from the plot, and the grounds on which the arbitrator determined its value, the Board have no information, but it appears from the award that the plot forms portion of a holding which is the subject of an agreement to purchase under the Land Purchase Acts, and that the sum of £1 allowed to the owner is to be applied in reduction of the proposed purchase money to be advanced in respect of the holding. This sum was probably arrived at by the arbitrator having due regard to the terms of the purchase agreement, the area, and former rent of the holding, the quality of the land, and the evidence given at his inquiry. The award is final. The plot was selected by the district council themselves, and the Board's inspector who inquired into the scheme stated that the occupier's holding was "rough, poor land," but did not see his way to disallow the site, the main object in view being to provide a cottage thereon for an applicant who with his wife and child is obliged to live in one room.

Forward to