Land Settlement Association (Tenants)

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th February 1983.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Newens Mr Arthur Newens , Harlow 12:00 am, 17th February 1983

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make arrangements to provide additional assistance to those Land Settlement Association tenants, threatened by its dissolution, whose problems have not been resolved by his revision of the time table for the termination of the marketing services and arrangements for short-term credits.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

The arrangements that I announced on 1 December and 19 January will, I believe, provide satisfactorily for the future needs of the effective and viable growers on the land settlement association estates.

Photo of Mr Arthur Newens Mr Arthur Newens , Harlow

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that many tenants who took on holdings more recently are still faced with very heavy debt burdens, which threaten to put them out of business unless he takes some further action? What right have the Government to say that they defend the small business men when they take action that destroys the businesses of many hard working small business men?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

To put the hon. Gentleman's remarks into perspective it should be said that he originally criticised the Government's decision to take this step, but I would point out that 95 per cent. of the tenants have decided to take advantage of what the Government offered.