§ Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, whether his attention has been called to the fact that, whilst royalties on slate quarries on Crown property in North Wales are between 2s. 10d. and 3s. 5d. per ton, the average royalty on quarries on private property is between 2s. and 2s. 6d.; and 1332W whether he will have an inquiry made into the scale of royalties on Crown property?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The Crown royalties on slates are, in nearly all cases, charged in the form of a percentage on the sums realised by the sale of the slates. Consequently, they rise and fall with the fluctuations of the market, and when prices are low lessees get the benefit of an automatic reduction. The whole question of the royalties on the principal Crown quarries in Carnarvonshire was very carefully and thoroughly gone into by the Commissioner of Woods five years ago, at the request of the lessees; the case of each quarry was considered and dealt with on its own merits; considerable concessions were made, and the lessees united in expressing their appreciation of the fair spirit in which their applications had been met.