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.
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.