asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will investigate the case of Mr. Lund, of Throstle Field Farm, Thornton, East Yorkshire, who has been given notice to quit by the East Riding War Agricultural Committee, as this farm of 89 acres, of heather land of poor quality, was bought for £700 about 23 years ago by Mr. Lund, has been farmed by Mr. Lund, who is 85 years of age, for 43 years, and as he has offered the land rent free, provided he may be allowed to live in his old age in his own house?
This case has already been fully investigated. The present owner-occupier of the farm is incapable, through age and other circumstances, of farming it properly, and the War Agricultural Executive Committee, after giving him ample opportunity either to sell or to let the farm to a competent person, have been obliged to take possession. My consent, which is necessary, has been given. I am informed that it would be impossible for the committee to let the farm to a satisfactory tenant without the use of the farmhouse and buildings, and I am afraid, therefore, that the suggestion in the last part of the Question cannot be adopted.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this old man of 85 has offered everything he possesses in order that he may live and die in his own house, and could not a little sympathy be shown to him?
Every sympathy has already been shown, and every attempt has been made by the committee to reach a compromise. The task imposed upon the committee is to see that land is properly farmed and food is produced, and, although I am very sorry for the old man, if the land cannot be farmed without the house and buildings, I must have the house and buildings.