§ DR. MACGREGOR (Inverness-shire)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland, considering that many of the inhabitants of Portree and Newtonmore, both in Inverness-shire, have applied for allotments, and the County Council refused to put its powers into operation owing to the heavy expense necessary to compel unwilling landlords to give the laud asked for, will the Government take steps to simplify and cheapen the procedure by which land may be obtained by the people on fair terms?
§ MR. MACFARLANE (Argyll)
Will the Government support a Bill which I have introduced and which is appointed for Second Reading, the object being to make proceedings in the matter of small holdings by County Councils and other Local Authorities compulsory?
THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir G. TREVELVAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton
In reply to the hon. Member, I rind, on inquiry, that the County Council have resolved to put into operation the provisions of the Allotments (Scotland) Act, and have appointed members of their Finance Committee to be 913 the Statutory Committee to deal with all Petitions presented thereon. As regards Newtonmore, I understand that an Amendment against the Motion in favour of the Petition was carried by 18 to 13; and that as regards Portree the Council have as yet been unable to make any arrangement for the acquisition of land. I regret that in the places named by the hon. Member the County Council has not seen its way to put the Act into force. Both in Scotland and England the provision of allotments was placed under the County Council as a body representative of the people, and it would only be in case of a general failure proved by a complete experience that the Act would be modified.
§ MR. MACFARLANE
But the present Bill does not contain compulsory powers. Will the Government support the introduction of such powers?
§ SIR G. TREVELYAN
The question of introducing the compulsory principle into the Small Holdings Bill for the United Kingdom is one for the Government to decide.
§ SIR G. TREVELYAN
It was considered that when matters were placed in the hands of the County Councils the power was really given to the people. I am inclined to think that it is so.