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 John Temple Mr John Temple , City of Chester 12:00 am, 8th December 1964

Unlike the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. George Y. Mackie), I must declare an interest. I am a farmer. I am capable in an emergency of milking my own cows. I support the case advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. J. E. B. Hill), because he made a serious point. I believe that the word "seriously" is unnecessary. I will give an additional reason to those advanced by my hon. Friend. Today agriculture is an extremely efficient and scientific industry. I hope that the Minister of Housing and Local Government has had the opportunity of going to the Smithfield Show this week. If he has not, I hope that he will go and convince himself of the science which is necessary to run an agricultural holding today.

In view of the scientific approach which farmers must now make to their vocation, I believe that it is necessary to have a well-trained labour force and if a member of the staff leaves it is necessary to be able to replace him reasonably quickly. If the word "seriously" is deleted, it will have the effect of enabling farmers to replace an agricultural worker rather more speedily and satisfactorily, because today I believe that the only circumstances in which district councils will rehouse an agricultural worker are when a court order has been obtained saying that the worker must leave his premises.

If the system is to work as it has hitherto, the court order will have to be obtained fairly quickly. I believe that it will be difficult to prove that the management of a holding has been seriously affected in a very short while, because "seriously affected" means that it has been seriously affected over a period. I therefore hope very much that the Minister, with his personal knowledge of agriculture—I do not quite know whether he is capable of milking his own cows, but I know that he has a great personal interest in agriculture—will think again about the Amendment to his Amendment.