asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that some landowners in Scotland are demanding large increases in rents from farmers; that this is resulting in evictions taking place and will lead to a demand by farmers for higher prices for their produce; and what steps he proposes to take to stop this practice?
Three cases have been brought to my notice in which increased rents have been demanded, but these three cases are now, I understand, the subjects of arbitration under the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1923. I have no knowledge of any evictions having taken place. I am discussing the question of regulating farm rents, during the war and after, with the National Farmers' Union and Chamber of Agriculture of Scotland and the Scottish Land and Property Federation.
Might I suggest that my right hon. Friend makes inquiries in some districts, because the landlords argue that, as farmers have to pay Excess Profits Tax, they might as well give the money to them? Will he see that this money is not diverted into the hands of the landowners?