Smallholdings

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Richard Body Mr Richard Body , Holland with Boston 12:00 am, 29th November 1967

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he opposes tenants of his smallholdings acquiring a tenancy of a nearby smallholding owned privately or by a county council, although the two holdings together would make an economic farm.

Photo of Mr John Mackie Mr John Mackie , Enfield East

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to his Question of 3rd May list.—[Vol. 746, c. 63–4.]

Photo of Mr Richard Body Mr Richard Body , Holland with Boston

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his reply will cause no satisfaction to some of his tenants in the County of Holland who are trying to make a livelihood off 10 acres? Is not this one more reason why the Minister should visit the 271 tenants that he has in the County of Holland?

Photo of Mr John Mackie Mr John Mackie , Enfield East

I have crossed swords with the hon. Member on this subject before. I am afraid that the answer is the same. The tenants sign an agreement not to take land from outside the estate. Our policy of amalgamations would be stultified if we were to allow this and I think that the hon. Member knows this only too well.