§ Mr. SCOTT
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the provisions of Section 17 of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act, 1911, have not been found efficient and stringent enough to prevent a number of vacated small holdings in Scotland passing outside the Act altogether, and, if so, whether he will introduce legislation to give the Department of Agriculture peremptory powers, with a view to preventing vacated holdings thus losing their status under the Act?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In existing circumstances I cannot undertake to introduce amending legislation, but the point will be considered whenever amending legislation is contemplated.
§ Mr. SCOTT
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many small holdings have been resumed by process of resumption in the Land Court since 1912 and without recourse to the Land Court during the same period, respectively; the counties in which these resumptions have taken place and the total acreage of such resumed holdings; and whether he is prepared to introduce legislation to amend the Small Holdings Acts in order to make security of tenure complete and effective?
During the period referred to the Land Court granted resumption in 327 cases, distributed over all the counties of Scotland, except Berwick, Dumbarton, East Lothian, Kirkcudbright, Nairn and Roxburgh. I am not clear what the hon. Member means by resumption without recourse to the Land Court, but it may serve his purpose to know that during the same period intimations were made to the Department of Agriculture under Section 17 of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act, 1911, in 101 cases in which vacant holdings or portions of them were not relet on landholders tenure. To obtain particulars as to acreage would involve a rather laborious investigation. With regard to the last part of the question I can give no undertaking with respect to the introduction of legislation.