Farmers (Financial Position).

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons on 25th July 1922.

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Captain TERRELL:

33.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether indications have reached him within recent times showing the economic embarrassment of farmers, due to inability to complete the purchase of their farms and to pay the interest on mortgages; whether he is aware that in many cases they were compelled to make these purchases by finding their farms sold over their heads; whether, to avoid their getting into the hands of moneylenders and selling stock wanted on the farms, he will consider and recommend to the Cabinet the policy of hiring out money at a cheap rate to farmers thus embarrassed and whether, if further information is needed, he will at once institute an inquiry into the whole subject?

Photo of Sir Harry Barnston Sir Harry Barnston , Eddisbury

My right hon. Friend is well aware of the difficult situation of many farmers who, owing to the breaking-up of estates, had to borrow money for the purchase of their farms in order to avoid dispossession from their holdings. He understands that an inquiry into the matter has recently been made by the National Farmers' Union and that proposals will be submitted to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject, but he is not in a position at present to make any statement on the subject on behalf of the Government.

Photo of Sir James Flannery Sir James Flannery , Maldon

Will the Government consider the alternative suggestion of guaranteeing farmers for a period, so as to prevent mortgagees from foreclosing?

Mr. J. JONES:

Will the Government guarantee the working men?