Clause 2. — (Suspension of Execution of Order for Possession.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Protection from Eviction Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Bertie Hazell Mr Bertie Hazell , North Norfolk 12:00 am, 8th December 1964

This provision is something that agricultural workers would have wished to see left out, because the National Union of Agricultural Workers recognises that it will make the position even more difficult for the farm worker occupying a cottage than for a normal tenant. We were always led to believe that it was the Government's intention that there should be parity of freedom between the ordinary tenant and the tenant of the agricultural cottage. We think that the balance now will be weighted against farm workers, although we recognise the reason that has prompted the Minister to include this wording. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary earlier said that Government leaders had bent over backwards to favour the landlords, but we think that here they have more than bent over backwards in trying to meet the wishes of the farmers.

I mentioned during the Second Reading debate the hardship suffered by farm workers. Some hon. Members opposite then rather decried my views but the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Kimball) has emphasised the very reason for greater protection being given to the farm worker than has hitherto been the case. He said that when a man in a farm cottage gets a month's notice to leave—for whatever cause—he should be out of the cottage at the end of that time whether or not there is anywhere else for him to go. I presume that the hon. Member would maintain that there should be a summary eviction in that event.

The farm worker's occupancy of his tied cottage is different from that of other workers in other spheres of industry, who often have tied cottages. There are far more evictions of farm workers than is general elsewhere. This provision means that the farm worker will still be in a rather different category from any other tenant. We appreciate the reason for this, and are not opposing it, but I hope that in the more permanent legislation that is to be introduced, the very legitimate claims of the farm workers will be given greater consideration than has been possible in getting this Bill, with all its wide implications, through the House as soon as possible.