asked the Minister of Agriculture how many men have been settled on the land since the Armistice; at what total cost; and whether he can now give any figure as to the amount of such cost as is irrecoverable?
The number of men provided with holdings by county councils and councils of county boroughs on land acquired by them since the 18th December, 1918 (the date of the inception of the Land Settlement Scheme), was, in July, 1925, 20,868, of whom 4,595 had for various reasons relinquished their holdings. The capital expenditure incurred on the acquisition, adaptation and equipment of the land has amounted approximately to £15¼ million, of which, however, some part has been spent on adding to the equipment of land acquired before the War, on which 2,475 men have been settled since the War, in addition to the number mentioned above.
The foregoing figures do not include 277 small holdings on estates acquired by the Ministry itself and subsequently transferred to county councils, and 327 small holdings on estates acquired and still retained by the Ministry.
With reference to the last part of the hon. and gallant Member's question, a 1678W valuation of the councils' small holdings estates, as provided in the Land Settlement (Facilities) Amendment Act of last Session, is now in progress. Pending its completion, it is not possible to add anything to the statement in paragraphs 12 and 13 of the Memorandum (Cmd. 2532) which was presented to the House previous to the introduction of the Bill.