§ Mr. MACLEAN
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that since 1914 there has been a decrease in the number of small holdings in England and Wales between one acre and 50 acres of 26,935; that there are 16,967 applicants for small holdings who are still unprovided for; and whether he will take steps to see that where there are vacant holdings suitable they will be given without delay to those applicants?1618W
§ Sir H. BARNSTON
I have been asked to reply. There has been a decrease as stated in the number of agricultural holdings above one acre and not exceeding 50 acres recorded in the Agricultural Returns; but the Returns include many parcels of land that cannot be described as "small holdings." In reply to the last part of the question, owing to the termination of the scheme under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, at the end of this month, it will not be possible for councils to provide further small holdings until fresh legislation has been passed. It is hoped to introduce such legislation shortly. In the meantime any county council holdings that become vacant are re-let to suitable applicants.