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Land Settlement

Volume 236: debated on Thursday 6 March 1930

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asked the Financial Secretary of the Treasury what has been the total expenditure from the British Exchequer since the War upon land settlement in England and Wales, Scotland, and Overseas, respectively; what is estimated to be the present value of the estates to the Exchequer; what is the annual charge now being incurred; and how many settlers are now established upon the land?

I append a statement setting out the desired particulars. Further information can be obtained from the published annual trading accounts.

England and Wales.Scotland.Overseas.

Lands acquired by County Councils, etc.


£On Estates—£Under£
(1) Owned by Dept. of Agriculture for Scotland3,337,897Empire Settlement Acts1,269,000
Advances from the Land Settlement Fund under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919 (excluding £1,250,000 borrowed locally)14,000,000(2) Owned by private proprietors855,472
Advances from Local Loans Fund under the Small Holdings, etc., Allotments Act, 1926 (excluding money borrowed locally)94,000

* All loans raised by Councils are repayable in full with interest at the rate current at the time of borrowing.

Farm Settlements acquired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Small Holdings Colonies Acts, 1916–18, and the Sailors and Soldiers (Gifts for Land Settlement) Act, 1916.
(a) retained by Ministry†336,224
(b) transferred to County Councils or otherwise disposed of484,390
†Two of the farm settlements were purchased wholly or partly in consideration of perpetual rentcharges, and two and a part of a third are held on long leases.
Land acquired by the Ministry under Section 3 of the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 19191,762
Total Expenditure from the British Exchequer since the War14,916,3764,193,3691,269,000
Excluding the comparatively small area retained by the Ministry as Farm Settlements,** the land acquired is the property of the Councils and has no present value to the Exchequer.Value of Estates owned by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland (at cost§ vide Balance Sheet published in Annual Trading Accounts)—

(1) Estates purchased before the War

** The present market value of the Ministry's Farm Settlements in England and Wales and of the Department's Estates in Scotland could not be ascertained without an expensive valuation.

(2) Estates gifted during the War10,964
(3) Estates purchased since the War778,524
§ See note in previous column.

England and Wales.Scotland.Overseas.

Payments to County Councils, etc., under Section 27of the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, as amended by the Land Settlement (Facilities) Amendment Act, 1925, and representing the excess of the aggregate amount of the Council's small holdings charges payable during the financial year 1929, as ascertained under the latter Act, over the net annual income of the Councils' small holdings estates for the same year, as similarly ascertained


Net annual loss as per Trading Accounts (Average of three years 1926,1927 and 1928)—

865,000(1) Estates purchased before the War6,092
(2) Estates gifted during the War1,677
(3) Estates purchased since the War123,071

Payment to County Councils, etc., in connection with the provision of additional small holdings and cottage holdings under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1926

†† As loans are repaid, the Ministry's contributions will be correspondingly reduced, and they will cease when the Council's loan charges fall to the level of the income from their estates.

Farm Settlements retained.—The annual Trading Accounts for the Settlements retained showed an accumulated loss on 31st March, 1929, of £191,383, of which £182,822 represented interest on Exchequer advances and provision for depreciation.

Net annual loss as per Trading Accounts (average for three years 1926, 1927 and 1928)23,141
16,963 (including 413 on Farm Settlements)16,963On new holdings3,761
On enlargements2,643