asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture whether 14,384 acres of land have been purchased for the provision of farm settlements for £454,200; and, if so, what was the aggregate net rateable value of this land in the year preceding purchase?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
Of the 14,284 acres purchased by the Ministry for the sum mentioned by the hon. Member, I have particulars of the net rateable value of 11,692 acres, which amounts to £9,840 1s. 9d. The purchase of the remaining property, comprising 2,592 acres, has not yet been formally completed, and particulars are not at present available.
§ Sir T. BRAMSDON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture whether 176,660 acres of land have been purchased for land settlements by county councils and councils of county boroughs in England and Wales for cash at a cost of £7,514,400; and, if so, what was the aggregate net rateable value attributed to that land during the year immediately preceding purchase?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, the Ministry is not in possession of information as to the rateable value of the land prior to purchase, and it would be necessary to circularise every local authority in England and Wales in order to obtain it. In view of the pressure of work on those bodies, and of the fact that the information when obtained would afford no reliable criterion of the value of the land, I am satisfied that the labour involved in obtaining a return would not be justified.