Dispossessed Farmers.

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons on 30th July 1942.

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Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Minister of Agriculture the total number of cases of dispossession of farmers from their farms, as a result of action by the war agricultural committees, that have taken place from September, 1939, to 30th June, 1942; and whether he can now make a further statement regarding the future policy of the Government in this matter?

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

The tenancies of 1,881 farmers in England and Wales have been terminated by notice under Defence Regulation 62. Executive committees have also taken possession of land under Regulation 51 in 4,373 cases, but it is not possible to state how many of these involve dispossession of farmers. The Government's policy has been based on intervention only when the existing occupier is unwilling or unable to farm the land in the proper manner at a time of national urgency which demands the maximum possible production. No basic change in such policy is contemplated.

Mr. De la Bère:

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is one thing to dispossess a farmer and another thing to find a better man to do the job and that it is getting more and more difficult to get good men?

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

My own personal experience in travelling round the country is that where we have dispossessed farmers there has been a great increase in production on the farms concerned.

Mr. De la Bère:

Perhaps my right hon. Friend will come along with me next week?