Oral Answers to Questions — Small Holdings.

– in the House of Commons on 27th February 1922.

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Captain TUDOR-REES:

93.

asked the Minister of Agriculture the total number of small holdings to date; and what is the annual charge on the ratepayers and taxpayers in respect of them?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

The total number of small holdings provided prior to the War was approximately 15,000. Since the inception of the Land Settlement Scheme, 15,030 fresh holdings have been created by councils, and the total number of small holdings for the provision of which the councils have been responsible is, therefore, approximately 30,000. Under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, the whole of the loss on the councils' small holdings undertakings falls in effect on the Exchequer until 1926. The amount placed on the Estimates for the current financial year to meet losses incurred in the financial year 1920–21 is £500,000.

Mr. G. MURRAY:

Could the right hon. Gentleman give the aggregate size of these holdings?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

I would prefer not to answer that question without notice.

Captain TUDOR-REES:

94.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many small holdings have been established in the county of Surrey and at what cost; and whether he has any information as to how many of the tenants are making a success of their holdings?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

Prior to the War the Surrey County Council created 108 small holdings, and, in addition, let 114 acres to a co-operative small holdings association. Since the inception of the Land Settlement Scheme the council have created 148 additional holdings. The capital cost of the holdings provided prior to the War was approximately £82,000. As regards those post-war schemes, comprising 115 holdings, in respect of which the Ministry has approved the council's proposals for the equipment and letting of the land, the total capital cost is estimated at £131,688, or an average of £l,145 per holding. I have no information to indicate that the smallholders under the council will not make a success of their holdings.