asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many service tenancies are in the gift of his Department; what are the rules govErning security of tenure for such tenancies; and what modifications have been or are proposed to be made to these rules to bring them into conformity with the views of Her Majesty's Government as expressed in relation to agricultural service tenancies.
The great majority of the 11,500 dwellings owned by the Home Office are not rented but are occupied by members of the prison service without charge under their conditions of service, which also include an obligation to vacate the quarters when required to do so. There is no intention to change these conditions.
Is the Minister aware that there is strong resentment in the agriculture industry, which produces the food of the nation, that it should be treated under different standards from those applied by the Government to themselves? Is he aware that it is considered that this action is being taken in agriculture because the Government, who do not allow the same standards to apply to themselves, are not affected?
Contrary to what the hon. Gentleman has said, the Bill is warmly welcomed by that section of the agriculture industry represented by tenants of farmers. Opposition Members may not agree, but they can express their own views—preferably from a standing position if they catch your eye, Mr. Speaker. Where the Government are affected in agriculture tenancies, my right hon. Friend has already said that we shall act within the spirit of the Bill.