HC Deb 19 April 1917 vol 92 c1878W

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he will consider the advisability of the Order of 20th February regarding the allotment of land to cultivators being extended to parish councils, in view of the fact that parish councils have lists of applicants for land and have no power to act?


The Cultivation of Lands Order, 1917 (No. 2), to which the question refers, was intended to provide for the cultivation of the vacant plots which are usually to be found in urban districts by means of the spare-time labour which is usually available in those districts, and it was particularly desired that any labour which could be more usefully employed in keeping in cultivation the lands already tilled should not be diverted to breaking up such plots. In a number of cases, however, where the district of a parish council is of an urban character, the Board have readily acceded to a request that they would delegate to the parish council similar powers to those conferred on urban district councils. Moreover, under the Cultivation of Lands Order, 1917 (No. 3), the County War Agricultural Executive Committees now have power to enter on land and arrange with parish councils, or other bodies, for its cultivation in small plots or otherwise, and this is the better course where, as is usually the case, a parish council has not the staff necessary for direct administration of the Order.