Orders of the Day — Rent Bill

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 November 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

Lords Amendments further considered.

Photo of Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe , Windsor

I was saying that in another place the noble Lord speaking on behalf of the Government when answering a somewhat comparable Amendment said: On the best information I can get,"— as this is a Ministerial statement I think am in order in quoting it— it is not a clause which would be likely to have any widespread effect …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 5th August, 1965; Vol. 269, c. 455.] I can only suggest to the noble Lord in another place and to right hon. and hon. Members in this House, that it is time they got round a little, because the Clause will have a very wide effect indeed, and, so far from helping accommodation in rural areas, what the Clause is doing is impeding and preventing the use of accommodation which otherwise would be available.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

I do not want to detain the House for very long, but as the new Clause which is the subject of the Amendment was first raised by me in Standing Committee at col. 837—I see the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Scott-Hopkins) shaking his head. I do not believe that he was a member of the Committee upstairs, so perhaps he does not know, but if he looks at col. 837 he will see that I raised the case of a farmer who, because he does not require it for the moment, lets a farm cottage to a person who is not employed in agriculture, so let us have no talk about the N.F.U. being responsible for this Amendment. I think I can legitimately claim that I was responsible for introducing it, so I am entitled to give the hon. Member for Windsor (Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe) some advice about the problem he has posed, and I hope that I can save the Minister a little trouble and shorten his winding-up speech by offering this advice.

I see what the hon. Member for Windsor is driving at, that this new Clause does not cover the case where the person in the farm house is not the occupier, he is a tenant of the owner of the farm, and therefore is not covered by the new Clause. If the hon. Gentleman is so keen on the scheme outlined by the Government for the amalgamation of farms, surely it is a good thing if he can take this farm into his own management and farm over a wider acreage and dispense with the subsidiary house which was required in the past because the farms were managed in smaller units?

The hon. Gentleman said that he was in favour of larger units and amalgamations between farms as a means towards higher efficiency, and he said that at the present time the particular farm which is on his property is not required by him for a tenant who is farming the subsidiary unit. It is part of his large unit which he farms together with his own land, and I should have thought that the simplest thing to do was not to treat the house as being required for the purpose of farming a small acreage of land, but to sell it off without the land. The hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke) protests about it—

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. I hope that we will not have arguments in the form of noises by hon. Members from a sitting position. If they want to intervene, there is a Parliamentary way of intervening.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for your protection. If the hon. Gentleman wants to intervene and say why he is making those noises, I am happy for him to do so. As I understand it, he is quite capable of getting up after me and making a speech on the Amendment and giving his own advice to the hon. Member for Windsor. I am sure that he will get quite a lot of advice this evening.

Photo of Mr Robert Cooke Mr Robert Cooke , Bristol West

I am sorry if my involuntary noises of amazement at every clause of the speech of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) cause him difficulty. I would ask the hon. Gentleman how on earth the miserable landowner will get back his house if he needs it in the future.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

The hon. Member for Bristol, West cannot have been listening to me, because the advice that I gave his hon. Friend was that he should "flog" the house. After all, here is a valuable asset which is in the possession of his hon. Friend, and I would like the hon. Member to endorse the advice that I am giving his hon. Friend.

The hon. Member for Windsor is in a fortunate position. I wish I was in the position of having a house that I could afford to leave vacant. It is rather nice to be in the position of having these doubts. He does not want the house for the moment because he is farming the land. If he wants to realise on the asset, surely the sensible thing for him to do is to make full use of it, just as anyone does who owns an asset in a business. If he does not require it for the purposes of his own business, then he can sell it, just as he would if he were an industrialist and had factory space surplus to requirements, or if he had a machine tool surplus to requirements. Why should not the same treatment be given to a house that he does not require for the efficient management of his farm?

Photo of Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe , Windsor

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) for his advice. I do not think that he really knows very much about agricultural holdings. I said that I did not want the farmhouse now, but how does the hon. Member know that I might not want to let it or sell it at some future date? Would he care to rent or buy a farm where there was no farmhouse available?

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

The hon. Member for Windsor mentioned in the course of his speech that he might require to sell it at some future date. I am only suggesting to him that he might realise that possibility now. If he agrees with the policy which has been outlined by the Government about the efficiency of farming in larger units, surely he ought to continue to operate the land under his own control. He has a bigger acreage now that he has brought the farm into his own holding, and presumably he can manage it more efficiently. If that were not the case, he would have let the farm as soon as he gained vacant possession of it.

His point does not pose very great difficulty in considering the present Amendment. By limiting the terms of it to persons actually employed in agriculture, we are not in any way jeopardising the efficiency of farms, and we are not in any way hindering the operation of farms on a large scale, which is the purpose of the Government's present policy, as I understand it. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman's objection is a very minor one to make to what is a sensible Amendment designed to ensure that where a person has let a farm property to someone not employed in agriculture, if he wants to regain possession of it in the efficient management of his business, he can do so. To extend the Clause by an afterthought which no one thought of in Committee upstairs is absolutely typical of the Conservative Opposition. They are determined to use every possible means of delaying the Bill until the last moment, even on a trivial point.

Photo of Mr John Hill Mr John Hill , South Norfolk

I am rather surprised that the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) should seek to copyright what is a blazingly obvious proposition to anyone engaged in agriculture while not supporting an Amendment that tries to fill out his own conception. I do not know how many fair-sized farmed there are in Orpington, but perhaps he will have in mind that it is not uncommon for a fair-sized farming business operated by one farmer to include more than one holding. The holdings may be widely separated. They may be miles apart. One may be owned by the fanner and the other leased by him. The farmer may therefore have in his legal possession more than one farmhouse. He may find that he has no residential use for one farmhouse, and the owner may wish to see it let and occupied until such time as it is required again.

I am at a loss to understand why the Government are making such heavy weather of this Amendment. It seems to me odd to include the cottage but to exclude the farmhouse, because to do so makes the Government's Amendment of only very limited use. I moved the original Amendment in this House, and although I was not on the Standing Committee I read the speech of the hon. Member for Orpington. He mentioned the problem, but I think that I am right in saying that the Minister pointed out to him that there was expected to be a later Amendment dealing with that point, and that he therefore thought that the hon. Member was not in order at that moment in the Committee. A further opportunity never came until, I think, we reached the Report stage—

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

In order to get the record right, I might say that there was not an Amendment later on the Notice Paper. The Minister informed me that there was, but it was admitted by the Parliamentary Secretary that there had been a misunderstanding, and that the Amendment to which reference had been made was not on the Notice Paper at the time.

Photo of Mr John Hill Mr John Hill , South Norfolk

I am trying to give the hon. Member all the credit I can, and asking him to pursue his ideas to their logical conclusion, which is to support this Amendment.

When we discussed the matter on Report I tried to treat quite equally—because I believe them to be equal—the case of the farm cottage and that of the farmhouse. I do not know how the argu- ments there are to be separated. When he replied to the debate, the Minister accepted the principle of the Amendment. I agree that he mentioned only the tied farm cottage specifically, but as he did not say the farmhouse was to be excluded some of us thought that that meant that the general case had been accepted. Later, on Third Reading, we were trying to assist the Government by not speaking unnecessarily, and I did not seek to elucidate this point—I wish that I had. I did attempt to when the Minister came to that passage in his winding up speech on Third Reading, to intervene to ask whether, in mentioning the necessity of dealing with the farm cottage with a suitable Amendment in another place, he also intended to include the farmhouse. Unfortunately, the right hon. Gentleman was pressed for time and did not give way, so the Bill left this House with this point unresolved.

I then wrote to the Minister stressing how desirable it was to treat the farmhouses so as to enable them to be let and occupied, while not required for farming, but pointed out that it was absolutely essential that possession should be recoverable, whatever notice was provided under the contract of letting, as and when the farmhouse was required for agriculture again. At the same time both the National Farmers' Union and the Country Landowners' Association were in touch with the Ministry and urging that this seemingly obvious matter should be put right so that we should avoid a tiresome anomaly.

10.15 p.m.

I wrote on 7th July. On 15th September I received a reply from the Parliamentary Secretary from which I quote: As regards farmhouses, the Government do not feel that there is a substantial enough problem to warrant special provision in the Bill. The concession on the recovery of possession of tied farm cottages was framed to take account of the very real problems which arise in relation to these cottages. But the Government do not think that it is reasonable to extend this concession to spare farmhouses. As you may know this was discussed at Report stage in the House of Lords. … For ease of reference, I enclose copies of the Lords HANSARDS". The Parliamentary Secretary apologised for delay in replying. I hoped that the delay was for a period of consultation, reflection and acceptance of the proposal and was not due to indifferent administration, but when I studied the arguments put forward in another place it seemed that the Government spokesman, the noble Lord, Lord Mitchison, rested his case on three broad grounds. First, he said that this was a special case and primarily concerned large estates. Certainly it is likely to occur on fairly large estates merely because there are more farms and a bigger prospect of farmhouses becoming spare, but it is not exclusively concerned with large estates. It may happen whenever one farmer is farming two separate holdings.

Secondly, the noble Lord expressed a good deal of sympathy for the case but said that the Bill was dealing with tied cottages and was the subject of a compromise. He indicated that he was reluctant to upset the balance of the compromise by introducing new matter despite its merits. There is no rational basis for this objection because this proposal does not affect the National Union of Agricultural Workers, except possibly indirectly for its members' benefit. It is possible that if the Amendment were accepted a spare farmhouse, not previously used by an employed worker in agriculture, might be wanted back to house not a separate farmer but an employee, owing to some increase in the expansion of farm production such as my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor suggested might well happen.

The third reason that was put forward in another place by the Government was that this problem was more closely related to a Bill about agriculture than to this Rent Bill. That is incorrect. This Bill alone is cutting across normal contractual arrangements in agriculture. I do not think it fair for the Government to try to have it both ways. At an earlier stage of the Bill we complained that it was not a suitable vehicle for dealing with tied cottage problems. If the Government are to bring agriculture into this Bill they must be prepared to consider in detail important agricultural issues.

On 21st September I returned to the charge and on 6th October the Parliamentary Secretary repeated in his letter: As I said, we did not think it reasonable to extend these special provisions on recovery of possession to cover farmhouses: our purpose in the Bill was to deal with the agricultural tied cottage as such, and this we have done. Tonight I have an interest to declare, because during the Recess I, too, have got into a similar situation as that recounted by my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor (Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe), in that I am one of the trustees of a farm from which the tenant retired on 10th October. The trustees have decided to keep the land in hand because it wants a lot doing to it over the next few years. Therefore, a perfectly good farmhouse is spare. It will certainly be needed some time in the future, but we cannot say when.

Already we have had requests to let it. Presumably the demand will build up. The first request I had was from a salesman in an agricultural service industry who wanted to operate his business from the locality in which the farm is situated. I had to tell him that until the Government's policy is clearer we cannot part with possession of the farmhouse, although we ourselves have temporarily no use for it. Then, on further consideration of the Government's Amendment, I had to tell him that he in any case would have to be ruled out because of the unfortunate circumstance that 10 years ago he was employed by me as a farm worker until he went off on his own. Yet he probably approached me merely because I owe him a lot of good will and I would like to oblige him. However, these provisions make it impossible. This illustrates a certain disadvantage in provisions 1(a) and 1(b) in the Government's Amendment, in that, though they may seek to protect certain individuals in possession—the ex-worker and the widow—they may in general act against the workers' interests, in so far as the Clause may deter owners and farmers from allowing such persons into possession of a cottage if they become completely protected tenants.

I remain baffled by the trouble over this one simple point. I ask myself whether it stems from the Government's ignorance of what happens in the countryside. Can it be that Ministers or their advisers are so urban-minded that they are not able to learn? I think not, because the correspondence, the debate in another place and, indeed, the Minister's own words here, have shown that he has expressed marked support on the question of the cottage and sympathy has been expressed for the parallel case of the farmhouse. The Government do not seem to be prepared to do anything to correct it. This can arise from one of two reasons—either from sheer doctrinaire obstinacy, or from a careless disregard for the quality and detail of legislation.

It seems that Labour Governments do not learn. When I purchased my farm I took over plans for the reconditioning of two cottages. The plans were in being. The then Labour Government suddenly rejected the Hobhouse Report on Rural Housing and stopped such work. Those cottages fell into slow decay and became known as "The Bevan Memorial". I fear that if the Clause is not amended we shall have similar empty, decaying old farmhouses as a string of Crossman memorials. I therefore beg the Minister even at this late hour to accept the Amendment to the Lords Amendment and improve his Bill and its subsequent administration.

Photo of Mr John Wells Mr John Wells , Maidstone

I wish to be brief and to put to the Minister the particular problems of the horticultural section of the agricultural industry. Horticulture faces some particular difficulties because holdings tend to be smaller, which is the point on which Lord Mitchison spoke some rubbish in another place when he said that the section was comprised of predominantly larger estates.

Throughout the horticultural industry there has been a great degree of amalgamation and alteration. Houses classified as farmhouses—and which will be viewed, as a result of the Bill, as farmhouses—may become temporarily vacant, as several of my hon. Friends have indicated. In the horticultural industry, in the position in which it finds itself today, the labour force has been cut back radically and holdings have been completely altered in their nature from the housing point of view.

The whole tenor and attitude of horticulturists is one of expediency and advance, because in the past few years there has been this run-down in the labour force. This does not mean that this trend will continue. The industry is that section of agriculture most alive to technical change. It may be that our labour force will increase in the years to come. Naturally, growers will want their workers to occupy the best available properties. As my hon. Friends have indicated, where there are really good farmhouses, it is desirable that the workers should have the best property that is readily available. I hope that the Minister will bear this in mind, even at this late hour.

Photo of Mr Robert Cooke Mr Robert Cooke , Bristol West

I rise merely to ask one question which must be put to the Government. Is it their policy, as it would appear to be the Liberal Party's policy—and I gave the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) notice that I would be raising this matter, although he has not seen fit to be in his place—that temporarily surplus farmhouses should be sold off? If that is their policy, what will happen to farmhouses which are needed on a parcel of land at a later stage?

Obviously planning permission will be sought to build farmhouses and it will be virtually impossible to resist that permission. I mention this because a racket could exist in farm housing, for farmhouses could be built and then got rid of. The Minister seems to look amazed. He knows, from the correspondence we have had, that some strange things can happen in the way of planning permissions in agriculture. The countryside could be damaged by unnecessary buildings being erected. This is a loophole which the Government are creating by which a large number of extra houses might be built but which would otherwise not be needed if the right hon. Gentleman had more sense about this part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I have been somewhat disappointed that we have not been able to make faster progress. However, I will do my best to deal with the Amendment, although I must to some extent deal with the substantive Clause so that hon. Members may understand the full implications of the Amendment. I hope that I will not have to repeat all these remarks when we come to the substantive Clause.

The House will recall that the Clause is the result of a specific pledge which I gave having had negotiations with the N.F.U. and the National Union of Agricultural Workers on the subject of tied cottages. As far as I can remember, at no point in those negotiations was anything raised other than the issue of farmworkers and tied cottages, although I agree that the hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. J. E. B. Hill), who spoke at great length, did write me a letter, but that did not concern what we were discussing at the time. That was not a matter to which we had given very much thought in formulating the Clause, but I would be perfectly prepared to consider it if it is practicable.

The House should understand just what it is that we have agreed to do and what it means. We have made a perfectly clear Clause to deal with the problem of the agricultural cottage—though I will refer to it as "house" because the size of the house is immaterial. A farmhouse may be an agricultural worker's house as much as a cottage. Therefore, when the hon. Member for Windsor (Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe) told me about his foreman living in a farmhouse, and it was part of his conditions of employment that he lived there, the fact that he was in a farmhouse would have made no difference and this Clause would have applied.

10.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I misunderstood. I thought the story was a little difficult to follow at certain points. I thought it was about a foreman who was living in a farmhouse.

Photo of Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe , Windsor

I knew that the right hon. Gentleman had not understood and, in fact, he was not listening. The foreman in question is living in an agricultural cottage. The farmhouse is empty.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

The point I was making was that, if he had been living in the farmhouse, the problem would not have occurred. The question the hon. Gentleman raised was whether we would extend a special Clause dealing with service tenancies to people who are not service tenants. That is it, is it not? That is what we are asked to do, to say that we will now give the same rights to a farmer vis-à-vis a tenant who is an employee and a tenant who is not in a service occupancy, that is, we will let him get hold of his house as easily as he should get hold of the tied cottage if it has been let to somebody else in the interval.

The situation envisaged is this. A farmer does not need his tied cottage for the time being. He wants to let it, because it would otherwise be vacant. That is clear, is it not? The cottage is a cottage given as a condition of employment, and therefore we have in the Clause provisions which precisely cover it and which carefully make sure that only if it is a genuine tied cottage, only if it genuinely being let outside the industry, and only if it is genuinely to be given back to the farm, an exception is made. In such circumstances, the farmer can get repossession of the tied cottage from the tenant, and the tenant will not have the protection of the courts by the test of greater hardship or the rest.

That is clear. That is the Clause we have all agreed on. Now, I am asked to add to that the further statement that we will extend it outside the area of the employee in the tied cottage to the house or building on the farm which is not occupied by an employee but by someone else who is a tenant. It might be a shop, a factory or anything, presumably. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Intrinsically, yes, because the Clause makes sense only in terms of the agricultural tied cottage, in the same way as we have another Clause dealing with the manse. We have to be precise in our definitions, and it is no good pretending that a farmhouse on an ordinary tenancy bears any resemblance in terms of the Clause to the subject of the Clause, which is the special problem of the agricultural tied cottage which will be vacant if it is not occupied by one of the farmer's employees.

Photo of Mr John Hill Mr John Hill , South Norfolk

With respect, the Minister is approaching this far too much from the standpoint of the business of letting property. The essential point about both the tied cottage and the farmhouse is that they are buildings, admittedly residential, which are vital to the operation of the farm business. In the farmhouse is the headquarters of the man who is running the business. He is not an employee. He is the farmer, presumably self-employed, and, by definition, in that farmhouse is the headquarters and office of the business. Therefore, from the point of view of agriculture, the two stand together. If anything, the farmhouse is, perhaps, the more important.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

That does not answer the point. The point we are dealing with arises on a Clause which met the pledge we gave to deal with the problem of the agricultural tied cottage in the peculiar conditions put to me by the N.F.U. and the farm workers, who said that many thousands of agricultural tied cottages were lying vacant because the farmers did not dare to let them when they were not let for farm labour for fear of not being able to get repossession. It was for this reason that the Clause was drafted.

Now, hon. Members say that they are not content with my doing what I promised, and they want me to do something rather different, extending the provisions of the Clause to farmhouses which are not tenanted by employees, apparently, because if they were tenanted by employees there would be no problem. If it is an employee, the whole Clause works. If it is not, it is not fair to say that we have not fulfilled our pledge. Nobody dreamed of doing it in that way. I gather that the case that the hon. Gentleman imagines is that a farmer buys another farm and has a surplus farmhouse on his hands. I am asked to say that in that case I will make the rule which applied to the tied cottage apply to the surplus farmhouse as well.

All I can say is that this is a totally different proposition and not the proposition that I negotiated with the National Farmers' Union, and I have had no demand for it from the National Farmers' Union or the other side of the industry. The hon. Member brought the subject up in his speech, and he also wrote to me, but I am clear that we have done exactly what we said we would do. I believe that what we have done is right and that we were right to do it.

I do not see that we can extend the provision at all easily in this way without laying ourselves open to having to extend it to other buildings on the farm. Why should this not be extended to other buildings? Why only to the farmhouse? If a man has a farmhouse to spare, what he does with it is up to him. He should put an employee in. If he puts his foreman into the farmhouse it will be under an ordinary agricultural tenancy. What any normal person would do would be to find a way of putting an employee in, and then he can sublet in the ordinary way.

Photo of Mr John Hill Mr John Hill , South Norfolk

The right hon. Gentleman has not met all the possibilities. The farmer might die and the farms might have to revert to two units. The extra farmhouse would then be required.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

Of course the Clause does not deal with everything. No Clause can. It deals with precisely the class of cases that we promised to deal with. This was put to me by the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) and the unions. They asked me to work out a Clause dealing with employees and employees' houses. This has been done. I am not prepared to accept an Amendment which greatly widens the issue and takes us right outside the precision of this Clause.

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

I am very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his explanation, which has cleared up in my mind, and, I hope, in the mind of other hon. Members, the reason why he is being so obstinate about this.

I want to make clear that I do not take issue with him for not fulfilling the pledge which he has given. It is only right to say that I am grateful to him for introducing the actual words in the new Clause. This fulfils what he pledged. I do not dispute that. I do not dispute—I do not know—that this issue that we are raising, which is a matter of substance, was perhaps not discussed in the negotiations with the National Farmers' Union and others. But I am sure that he would be the first to admit that this is a subject about which we have been talking almost since last November when the Protection from Eviction Bill was going through the House, and it has been recurring ever since at every stage when we have talked about these matters.

The case that my hon. Friends have put forward with great cogency is a pure matter of straight logic. I accept that the right hon. Gentleman has done what he said he would do concerning the farmhouse and the tied cottage. If the farmer wants to let it for a short period he should be able to regain possession of the cottage for the purpose of using it for somebody who will work on the farm. We say— many examples have been given—that one cannot make a distinction between a farmhouse, no matter what size it is, and a farm tied dwelling.

The right hon. Gentleman said that all one has to do is to put a farm worker into the house. It may be, as my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) suggested, that at the particular moment this is not convenient and that the parties are quite happy where they are and in the accommodation that they have, and, therefore, rather than leave the house empty, it is much better and more suitable to let it on a short-term basis. Then, when required in changed circumstances, perhaps when the farm structure changes, the house should be able to be used again for agricultural purposes.

I ask the right hon. Gentleman to look again at our words, which would not widen the provision out of all proportion. We merely seek to add the words "or primarily engaged". I am sure that the Minister wishes to be reasonable and if so he must concede that he is arguing on a very narrow point of difference between a farm house and a tied cottage.

In these days one cannot tell what use these houses may be put to. A house may be used for an expanding production unit at some future date. My hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Mr. John Wells) referred to horticulture and its particular problems, whereby a house may be needed again for an employee. The case put forward by my hon. Friends demonstrates the need for our Amendment and the difficulties and confusion that might arise without it.

I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman can validly argue that at no time in future will a big unit be split up. A large unit may have to be split

Division No. 275.AYES[10.44 p.m.
Abse, LeoBoyden, JamesCraddock, George (Bradford, S.)
Albu, AustenBradley, TomCrawshaw, Richard
Alldritt, WalterBray, Dr. JeremyCrosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Crossman, Rt. Hn. R. H. S.
Armstrong, ErnestBrown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)Cullen, Mrs. Alice
Atkinson, NormanBrown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury)Dalyell, Tam
Bacon, Miss Alice,Buchanan, RichardDavies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Davies, Harold (Leek)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodCallaghan, Rt. Hn. JamesDavies, Ifor (Gower)
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Carter-Jones, LewisDavies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Binns, JohnColeman, DonaldDelargy, Hugh
Bishop, E. S.Conlan, BernardDell, Edmund
Boardman, H.Corbet, Mrs. FredaDempsey, James
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S. W.)Cousins, Rt. Hn. FrankDiamond, Rt. Hn. John

up because of death duties, or with the son rushing to occupy a small portion, that farm house would be the right and proper place for him to live. There is no reason why, before that happens, it should not be let on a short-term tenancy. All we ask is that the owner should be able to get repossession for agricultural purposes.

The points made by the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) did not help the debate. I suggest that before he intervenes again in this matter he should consult any of his hon. Friends who are experts on farming. It is also a pity that none of the Agricultural Ministers are here for this important matter.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Why does not the hon. Gentleman make some effort to answer my argument instead of merely making sarcastic remarks?

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

Because the hon. Gentleman did not know what he was talking about.

I hope that the Minister will be able to reconsider this matter. We are not asking him to go wide of the provision but merely to include words which will be necessary for the good working of agricultural land. If he excludes these words he will raise many problems for the future, with the result that many houses which could be let on a short-term basis will not be let and so, will deteriorate. I am sure he does not wish to see that situation. The Amendment is in the best interests of agriculture which he and the House have at heart and wish to see promoted.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Lords Amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 196, Noes 159.

Doig, PeterJohnston, Russell (Inverness)Popplewell, Ernest
Driberg, TomJones, Dan (Burnley)Probert, Arthur
Duffy, Dr A. E. P.Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Rees, Merlyn
Dunnett, JackJones, T. W. (Merioneth)Rhodes, Geoffrey
Edelman, MauriceKelley, RichardRoberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
English, MichaelKerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)Rose, Paul B.
Ennals, DavidLeadbitter, TedRoss, Rt. Hn. William
Ensor, DavidLee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'c'tle-on-Tyne, C.)
Finch, Harold (Bedwellty)Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannook)Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan)Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)Silkin, John (Deptford)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)Lomas, KennethSilkin, S. C. (Camberwell, Dulwich)
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)Loughlin, CharlesSilverman, Julius (Aston)
Floud, BernardLubbock, EricSkeffington, Arthur
Foley, MauriceMabon, Dr. J. DicksonSlater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich)McBride, NeilSlater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)McCann, J.Small, William
Ford, BenMacColl, JamesSteel, David (Roxburgh)
Galpern, Sir MyerMcGuire, MichaelSummerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Garrett, W. E.McKay, Mrs. MargaretSwain, Thomas
Garrow, AlexMacMillan, MalcolmSymonds, J. B.
Gourlay, HarryMacPherson, MalcolmTaylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Grey, CharlesMallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Griffiths, David (Bother Valley)Manuel, ArchieThomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Griffiths, Will (M'chester, Exchange)Mapp, CharlesThomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.Mason, RoyThorpe, Jeremy
Hale, LeslieMaxwell, RobertTomney, Frank
Hamilton, James (Bothwell)Mayhew, ChristopherTuck, Raphael
Hamilton, William (West Fife)Mellish, RobertUrwin, T. W.
Hamling, William (Woolwich, W.)Mendelson, J. J.Wainwright, Edwin
Hannan, WilliamMillan, BruceWalden, Brian (All Saints)
Harper, JosephMiller, Dr. M. S.Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Milne, Edward (Blyth)Wallace, Georgo
Hart, Mrs, JudithMolloy, WilliamWarbey, William
Hattersley, RoyMorris, Charles (Openshaw)Weitzman, David
Hazell, BertMorris, John (Aberavon)Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Heffer, Eric S.Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Sheffield Pk)White, Mrs. Eitene
Herbison, Rt. Hn. MargaretMurray, AlbertWhitlock, William
Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)Wigg, Rt. Hn. George
Holman, PercyNoel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)Wilkins, W. A.
Horner, JohnNorwood, ChristopherWilley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Houghton, Rt. Hn. DouglasOgden, EricWilliams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Howarth, Robert L. (Bolton, E.)Orbach, MauriceWilliams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Orme, StanleyWilliams, W. T. (Warrington)
Hunter, Adam (Dunfermline)Oswald, ThomasWillis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Hynd, H. (Accrington)Owen, WillWilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Padley, WalterWinterbottom, R. E.
Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Page, Derek (King's Lynn)Woof, Robert
Jay, Rt. Hn. DouglasPalmer, Arthur
Jeger, George (Goole)Park, Trevor (Derbyshire, S. E.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.)Peart, Rt. Hn. FredMr. William Howie and
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Pentland, NormanMr. Brian O'Malley.
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)Perry, Ernest G.
Agnew, Commander Sir PeterChichester-Clark, R.Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.
Astor, JohnClarke, Brig. Terence (Porlsmth, W.)Goodhew, Victor
Atkins, HumphreyCooke, RobertGrant, Anthony
Awdry, DanielCooper, A. E.Grant-Ferris, R.
Balniel, LordCooper-Key, Sir NeillGresham Cooke, R.
Batsford, BrianCostain, A. P.Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)
Bell, RonaldCourtney, Cdr. AnthonyHarris, Reader (Heston)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)Crawley, AidanHarrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Cos. & Fhm)Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir OliverHastings, Stephen
Berry, Hn. AnthonyCurran, CharlesHay, John
Biggs-Davison, Johnd'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryHeald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel
Bingham, R. M.Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.Hendry, Forbes
Birch, Rt. Hn. NigelDigby, Simon WingfieldHiley, Joseph
Black, Sir CyrilDodds-Parker, DouglasHill, J. E. B. (S Norfolk)
Blaker, PeterEden, Sir JohnHirst, Geoffrey
Box, DonaldElliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir EdwardErrington, Sir EricHordern, Peter
Braine, BernardEyre, ReginaldHornby, Richard
Brinton, Sir TattonFarr, JohnHowe, Geoffrey (Bebington)
Brooke, Rt. Hn. HenryFisher, NigelHunt, John (Bromley)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen)Iremonger, T. L.
Bruce-Gardyne, J.Fletcher-Cooke, Sir John (S'pton)Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)
Buck, AntonyFoster, Sir JohnJoseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Buxton, RonaldFraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)Kaberry, Sir Donald
Carlisle, MarkFraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Kilfedder, James A.
Carr, Rt. Hn. RobertGammans, LadyKing, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Chataway, ChristopherGibson-Watt, DavidKirk, Peter
Kitson, TimothyNeave, AireyTalbot, John E.
Lagden, GodfreyOnslow, CranleyTaylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Catheart)
Lambton, ViscountOrr-Ewing, Sir IanTaylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Langford-Holt, Sir JohnPage, John (Harrow, W.)Teeling, Sir William
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Page, R. Graham (Crosby)Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Litchfield, Capt. JohnPeel, JohnThomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)
Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)Percival, IanThomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Conway)
Longbottom, CharlesPitt, Dame EdithThompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Longden, GilbertPowell, Rt. Hn. J. Enochvan Straubenzee, W. R.
Loveys, W. H.Prior, J. M. L.Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
MacArthur, IanPym, FrancisWalker, Peter (Worcester)
McNair-Wilton, PatrickQuennell, Miss J. M.Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Maitland, Sir JohnRamsden, Rt. Hn. JamesWall, Patrick
Marten, NeilRawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir PeterWard, Dame Irene
Mathew, RobertRoots, WilliamWeatherill, Bernard
Maude, AngusRoyle, AnthonyWebster, David
Mawby, RayRussell, Sir RonaldWells, John (Maidstone)
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Scott-Hopkins, JamesWhitelaw, William
Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Sharples, RichardWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Mills, Peter (Torrington)Shepherd, WilliamWolrige-Gordon Patrick
Mitchell, DavidSmith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)Woodnutt, Mark
Monro, HectorStainton, KeithYates, William (The Wrekin)
Mott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesStanley, Hn. Richard
Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughStudholme, Sir HenryTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Murton, OscarSummers, Sir SpencerMr. Martin MacLarea and
Mr. Jasper More.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

I will not make a speech, because I think that on the previous Amendment we said everything which needs to be said on the new Clause. This is the Clause which we promised to insert. I gather that although it does not include all that the Opposition want, everything in it is such as they do want.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.