HC Deb 13 May 1918 vol 106 cc60-1W
Captain Sir C. BATHURST

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, when recently stating that the proposal by the Earl of Berkeley to increase substantially the rents payable by farm tenants on the Berkeley Castle estate was due to the immediate necessity of paying Death Duties and mortgage debts amounting in the aggregate more nearly £1,000,000 than to £750,000, it was his intention to suggest that such mortgage debts were the creation of the Earl's predecessor in title, the late Lord Fitzhardinge, or were created by the Earl himself as a charge upon his reversionary interest before it fell into possession; and whether his opinion in either event as to the justification of the course taken would be the same?


On 30th April, 1918, the President of the Board stated that on succeeding to his estates Lord Berkeley is called upon to pay a sum which is nearer £1,000,000 than £750,000, and that the money representing these calls is made up of mortgages and Death Duties. This statement was not intended to make or imply any suggestion as to the origin of the charges. The accuracy of the facts has been verified, and the President does not consider it necessary to inquire into family matters, which cannot, in his opinion, affect the statement of fact.