Farms

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1964.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr John Mackie Mr John Mackie , Enfield East 12:00 am, 13th July 1964

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the decrease in the number of farms in the United Kingdom since 1951.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , North Cornwall

The Agricultural Returns show that the number of agricultural holdings decreased by approximately 80,300 or 15 per cent. over this period, but part of the decrease is simply due to requests to farmers to make only one return for holdings which are worked together as a single agricultural unit.

Photo of Mr John Mackie Mr John Mackie , Enfield East

The second part of the Minister's reply reveals that considerable numbers of farms have been amalgamated, or something else has happened, each year over the last 13 years. Has the hon. Gentleman any information as to what happened to the farmers and to the farms? Were they amalgamated with larger farms, or what happened? It is rather a large figure, and it is rather important that we should know the pattern of the structure of British agriculture. I hope that the Minister has been taking an interest in this matter, and will give a reply on it.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , North Cornwall

I have indeed been taking an interest in the matter, but if the hon. Gentleman wants these details he must put down a Question.

Photo of Captain James Duncan Captain James Duncan , South Angus

Can my hon. Friend say how much land has been lost to farming through housing, education, playing fields and things like that?