asked the Minister of Agriculture, in view of the difficulty of obtaining land from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, what steps he proposes to take to assist the county borough council of South Shields to obtain land for allotments; and what part of the cost he will be prepared to contribute, in view of the number of unemployed in the borough and the demand for allotments by them?
As I informed the hon. Member by letter on the 29th September, I had ascertained that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were ready to lease 18 acres of land to the borough council of South Shields for the purpose of allotments. In accordance with the decision announced in the White Paper (Command 3952) no funds will he available for the Ministry to contribute towards the cost of these allotments.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the 18 acres were subject to a most unjustifiable condition, with regard to payment for a sewer and another matter; and, further, is he aware that 18 acres are of absolutely no use in dealing with 14,000 unemployed?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that every local authority in the north of England has had trouble with these people, in getting land for any purpose?
Sums received from allotment holders in part payment of the seeds, fertilisers, and implements supplied to them will, as was originally contemplated, be applied in reduction of the cost of the service. The sum of £14,490 6s. has so far been received.