§ Mr. McENTEE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether he is aware that allotment holders at Red Bridge Lane, Wanstead, were dispossessed by his Department in May, 1921; that the allotment holders, who had prepared and planted their land at considerable labour and expense, were evicted at a week's notice, whereas they had an agreement providing for three months' notice; that they submitted claims for compensation based upon their proper legal rights and their interest in the land for the period for which they should have received notice; whether the amounts offered by his Department are considerably blow the claims made by these holders; and whether he will receive a deputation from the Association of Allotment Holders to consider the matter?
§ Mr. GROVES
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that four allotment holders at Red Bridge Lane, Wanstead, received from the Minister of Transport one week's notice to quit in May, 1921; that they, consequently, ceased operations on the land after they had dug and planted their land at consider- 1828W able labour and expense; and that some two months later they were notified by the same Department that they could resume possession of the land; whether any payment of compensation has been made to these allotment holders in respect of the loss of their season's crops; and, if not, for what reason have the claims made by these plot holders not been met?
§ Colonel ASHLEY:
I have been asked to reply to these questions. It was necessary to take possession of these allotments for the construction of a section of the Eastern Avenue, one of the arterial roads promoted for the relief of unemployment. Notices of entry were served on 24th May, 1922 (not 1921, as stated in the questions), under Section 2 of the Unemployment (Relief Works) Act, 1920, which enables entry to be made at seven days' notice. It was found that the plots belonging to the four holders referred to in the question of the hon. Member for the Stratford Division were not required, and their land was left intact. Negotiations with regard to compensation are being conducted by the Valuation Department of the Inland Revenue, and I am advised that the claims at present put forward by these allotment holders appear excessive. If the Association of Allotment Holders will let me have a statement in writing of their views on the general question of the compensation payable in these circumstances, I shall be happy to consider them.