HC Deb 26 November 1919 vol 121 cc1837-8W

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether Samuel Gibson, whom he gave as one ex-Service man already settled on the land, is in possession on account of the fact that, although the Board of Agriculture do not enter into possession of Castle Huntley until 28th November, he was by arrangement with the out-going tenant to get possession previous to that date; whether he did himself give the above date as the date of entry of the Board; whether the buildings and the equipment were not in fact put there by the Board but were in fact part of the equipment of a large holding; whether he can now state the number of ex-Service men placed by the Board of Agriculture on lands acquired under the Small Holdings Colonies Acts, 1916–18, the rent of which holdings has been fixed and the buildings and other equipment completed or erected by the Board; and whether he can give the name of one ex-Service man whose holding is so equipped, with the name of the scheme, rent, and area of such holding?


In reply to the first two parts of my hon. Friend's question, the Board of Agriculture became proprietors of Castle Huntley farm as at Whitsunday last, but the tenant was entitled to remain in occupation until 28th November of this year. Mr. Gibson, however, was allowed to get entry to his holding before that date by an arrangement made by the Board with the tenant. As regards the third part of the question, the holding referred to was already equipped with buildings. In reply to the remainder of the question, as my hon. Friend knows, water supply, roads, buildings, and in some cases fences are necessary to the complete equipment of a holding, and it is in the interests of the holder that he should take a share in the work of providing that equipment. In these circumstances, while I am unaware of any case which complies with all the conditions referred to By my hon. Friend, he may be interested to know that in the course of a week or thereby it is anticipated that about 100 men will be settled on the land under the Small Holdings Colonies Acts.