§ SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether he can state the number of cases in which Sanitary Authorities have petitioned the Local Government Board for powers of compulsory purchase of land, under the Allotments Act of 1887, and the number of cases (if any) in which the compulsory powers of purchasing land have been put in force, or money borrowed for the purpose of purchasing land for allotments by agreement?
§ MR. LONG
In no case have powers for the compulsory purchase of land, for the purpose of the Allotments Act, been conferred on Sanitary Authorities. In two instances Petitions for such powers were received by the Local Government Board. In one of these cases the Order was declined after local inquiry, and in the other the Board would have been prepared to issue the necessary. Order if they could have done so prior to the date when their powers in this matter passed to the County Council. In five cases loans for the purchase of lands have been sanctioned, and there are now two further cases under the consideration of the Board. Of course, the Act contemplated the hiring of lands by Sanitary Authorities as well as the purchase, and there have been a number of cases where such arrangements have been made. I must, at the same time, observe that one of the results of the Act which it was hoped would be attained was that voluntary arrangements for the provision of allotments would be made by landowners, so as to avoid the necessity of the intervention of Sanitary Authorities; and I am glad to be able to state that the Act has to a large extent had satisfactory results in this respect.
§ SIR W. FOSTER
Will the hon. Gentleman give the names of the localities from which applications had been made?
§ MR. WINTERBOTHAM (Gloucestershire, Cirencester)
Will the hon. Gentleman give the one case in which the Local Government Board were willing to act?
§ MR. LONG
I am afraid that I cannot give the name at this moment; but I will furnish it if the hon. Member desires to have it. The reason the application was declined was that the result of an inquiry showed that the land could only be obtained at such a great cost that it would be impossible to sub let it.
§ MR. WINTERBOTHAM
I did not mean that case; but the one in which the hon. Gentleman said the Local Government Board would have been willing to accede to the application.
§ MR. LONG
I will give the hon. Member the name. The hon. Member for Ilkeston (Sir W. Foster) asks me to state the names of the localities from which applications have been received. I believe there will be no objection to furnish them; but in the absence of the President of the Local Government Board I am unable to give them now.
§ MR. COSSHAM
Have the expenses to which the hon. Member referred been created by the expensive mode of procedure under the Allotments Act?