Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I was not aware that anyone had withdrawn from the offer, but the draft lease was sent to these three estate owners at the beginning of August, and, in spite of constant reminders, we have not had it back. If the other owners would withdraw like the owner mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, we should be very glad to let to the two ex-service men on the amended terms that they have now offered.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: May I explain to the right hon. Gentleman? The powers which have expired were mainly of value in the case of building land, to enable local authorities to go in without notice on any unoccupied land. Those are not the powers that are required in the case that the right hon. Gentleman has in mind. He wants to make agricultural land available for allotments. For the acquisition of agricultural...
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: Yes, but the point is that the right hon. Gentleman wants to take it without paying the market value.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: The House of Commons has discussed this matter in the present Parliament, and has set up machinery for assessing market values, and, on the condition of paying a fair value, we are able to act with the machinery that is already in existence.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement giving the statistics desired in the first part of the question. These imports are used for human consumption in some form or other, the eggs not in shell being mainly employed in the confectionery trade. In regard to the last part of the question, the draft Order in Council now before
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I think the hon. Member had better put that question on the Paper.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: As the reply is rather long, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: The preparation of a Bill to give effect to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Land Drainage is under consideration, but it is necessary, in the first instance, to carry out a considerable amount of survey work in order to determine the boundaries of the principal catchment areas for which authorities as proposed by the Royal Commission must be constituted. That work is being...
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: A question is on the Paper to-day about further schemes in connection with unemployment.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: The Doncaster Bill dealing with a special area will be a private Bill, and notice has already been given.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I am not responsible for the administration of drainage law in Scotland.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I will convey that to the Cabinet.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: The conditions on which these grants will be made have been settled and an explanatory circular will be issued to county councils and drainage authorities very shortly. The object of these grants is to facilitate the transfer of labour from depressed areas as recommended by the Industrial Transference Board, and it will be a condition of any grant that at least 50 per cent. of the labour...
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I will see how publication can most conveniently be arranged, but we are, in the first instance, preparing them in a form to invite applications from the local authorities.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: There will be a letter to the local authorities. I am in no way suggesting that the House of Commons should have the information withheld, but I am not in a position to commit myself as to the form in which it should be brought to their notice.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: Yes, the whole basis of this scheme is that it should help the transference of labour from those districts where there is excessive unemployment or a lack of employment.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: There is no occasion to recover from the ratepayers—
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I do not think so.
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: On the 19th November I informed my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tavistock (Brigadier-General Wright) that the first animals affected in the Plymouth series of outbreaks were pigs which had been fed on swill containing scraps of meat of foreign origin. I have, however, made no such statement about the Dorset outbreaks, and no pigs were affected in these two cases. The Foot-and-Mouth...
Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness: I understand that it is an open question whether the whaling industry offers any considerable scope for further development, and I am of opinion that any question of further British participation is best left for the decision of the commercial interests concerned.