asked the Minister of Agriculture the approximate cost to the State, if any, of the Small Holdings Acts, 1908 to 1914?
I have been asked to reply. Up to the 31st March, 1919, the total amount paid by the State to councils in England and Wales in respect of smallholdings provided under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1908, was approximately £396,000. Of this sum approximately two-thirds consisted of legal and other expenses of acquisition which were repaid to councils under Section 21 of the Act. Since the date mentioned any losses on these holdings have not been shown separately from those incurred in respect of the holdings provided under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, but the proportion would be very small.
Can the hon. Member tell us whether that figure includes the sum expended in rates?
I cannot say, but I will put the question to my right hon. Friend.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can give the number of schemes for establishing smallholdings submitted to the Minister under the Small Holdings Act of 1926; the number of county councils which have submitted schemes; and the number of persons actually established in smallholdings under the 1926 Act to date?
212 schemes for establishing small holdings under the Act of 1926 have been submitted by 44 councils. About a quarter of these schemes will not he carried into effect for various reasons, but on the other hand some acquisitions which did not involve loss have been effected by councils without reference to the Ministry. The number of persons actually established in smallholdings provided under the Act up to 31st December, 1929, was 444, and the total number of holdings that will eventually be created on the lands acquired including acquisitions effected this year, is approximately 670.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can give the approximate net cost to the State of the Land Settlement Act during 1919–26; and the number of persons settled on the land under that Act for the period 1919–26?
As the reply is long and contains a number of figures, it is proposed with my hon. Friend's permission to circulate it in the OFFICIAL. REPORT.
Following is the reply:
The number of holdings provided by councils under the Land Settlement Scheme during the period 1919 to 1926 was about 16,000. The net capital expenditure incurred on the purchase and equipment of land was approximately £15,250,000, of which £14,000,000 was advanced by the Public Works Loan Commissioners out of the Land Settlement Fund, the remainder being provided locally. These figures include a certain
amount spent on the equipment of land acquired before 1918. The sum advanced is repayable in full over varying periods with interest at rates varying from 4¾ per cent. to 6½ per cent., the average rate being 6¼ per cent. The losses due to the fact that the rents of the holdings fall short of the loan payments and the charges for repairs, management, etc., were repaid annually to councils for each year up to 31st March, 1926. The amount so repaid was £5,100,000, but it should be observed:
As from 1st April, 1926, the Ministry pays to each council a predetermined annual contribution for the whole of the council's pre-War and post-War holdings. The total amounts so payable in respect of the first five years were approximately as follows, and it may he assumed that the hulk is in respect of the holdings created after 1918:
The contributions will continue at a progressively diminishing rate until by reason of the repayment of loans, the annual charges will fall to the level of the annual income. The high costs prevailing during the period when most of the equipment was provided are, of course, reflected in these figures.
* The full contribution of about £900,000 was reduced to this figure in consequence of overlapping with payments made under the arrangements in force up to 31st March, 1926.
Tuberculosis, Kent (Sanatorium Treatment)
asked the Minister of Health the number of tuberculosis cases awaiting admission for sanatorium treatment in Kent county on the 1st November as compared with the 1st May; and whether such cases awaiting admission include patients notified tuberculous on account of acute pleurisy?
The number of persons who were awaiting admission to residential institutions under the county council's scheme was 99 on the 1st of November, as compared with 81 on the 1st of May, the number of persons who were receiving treatment on these dates respectively being 595 and 559. These figures relate to persons medically recommended as suitable for residential treatment, and include any such persons who may have been notified as tuberculous on account of acute pleurisy.
In view of the fact that I can bring to the notice of the Minister specific cases where doctors have certified people as urgent cases and that they have had to wait many weeks, will she urge the county council medical authorities to take steps to provide greater sanatorium accommodation?
If the hon. Member will give me any cases, I shall be delighted to inquire into them.
Is the hon. Lady aware that there has been a shortage of accommodation for a very long time and that the Minister has promised to look into the matter?