HC Deb 20 March 1923 vol 161 cc2382-3W

asked the Under-Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health whether he is aware that, owing to the circumscribed powers of sub-commissioners for small holdings, long delays take place in carrying out minor repairs, and alterations on existent holdings with a consequent natural loss to the smallholders concerned; and if the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, with a view to remedying this defect, will grant the sub-commissioners such powers on the above-mentioned matters as are usually exercised by land agents or factors on well-managed private estates in Scotland?

Captain ELLIOT:

My Noble Friend does not agree that the obligation imposed on the officers of the Board of Agriculture to seek approval before incurring expenditure involves unnecessary delay. In the case of estates in process of settlement where the expenditure may contribute to a deficit which requires the approval of the Treasury, it is impossible to give individual officers the suggested powers of discretion. In the case of completed settlements the procedure approximates, so far as practicable, to that suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend.