§ Viscount WOLMER
asked the Minister of Agriculture the total amount paid by the State in the establishment of small holdings since 1918; how much of this money is regarded as irrecoverable; and how many smallholders have been established as a result of this expenditure?
§ 1919. Mr. N. BUXTON
The following statement gives the required information in respect of small holdings provided by county councils and councils of county boroughs in England and Wales. Separate figures are given for (1) Holdings created under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919; and (2) Holdings created under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1926.
(1) Small Holdings created under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act,
The number of holdings is about 16,000. The net capital expenditure incurred on the purchase and equipment of land was approximately £15,250,000, of which £14,000,000 was advanced by the Public Works Loan Commissioners out of the Land Settlement Fund, the remainder being provided locally. These figures include a certain amount spent on the equipment of land acquired before 1918. The sum advanced is repayable in full over varying periods with interest at rates varying from 4¾ per cent. to 6½ per cent., the average rate being 6¼ per cent. The losses due to the fact that the rents of the holdings fall short of the loan payments and the charges for repairs,