Enactments Repealed

Orders of the Day — Agricultural Holdings Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 10:30 pm on 6th June 1984.

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Amendments made: No. 75, in page 44, line 21, column 3, leave out from `it,' to 'and' in line 23.

No. 76, in page 45, line 4, at end insert—

'4 & 5 Eliz. 2 c.49.The Agriculture (Safety, Section 3(10).'. Health and Welfare Provisions) Act 1956.

No. 77, in page 45, line 19, column 3 leave out `to "1967"' and insert 'onwards'.—[Mr. MacGregor.]

Order for Third Reading read.— [Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, and Prince of Wales's Consent, on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall, signified]

Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.—[Mr. Jopling.]

Photo of Mr Robert Hughes Mr Robert Hughes , Aberdeen North 11:32 pm, 6th June 1984

May I take this opportunity to put the record straight on a slip of the tongue I made earlier when I said that the industry described the RICS as the Government's men; it was clear in the context of my speech that I meant the landlord's men. Hansard, however, will not correct this slip. Therefore, I put that correction on the record.

The Bill makes little or no contribution to the future of the tenanted sector. It is a bad Bill and we shall vote against it tonight.

Photo of Mr Geraint Howells Mr Geraint Howells , Ceredigion and Pembroke North 11:33 pm, 6th June 1984

I do not believe that the necessary amendments have been made to ensure that the Bill fulfils its purpose of promoting healthy tenant-landlord relationships. This issue has been debated by all interested parties for a number of years. Everyone accepted that the present arrangements were no longer satisfactory and that fundamental changes were needed. This should have been our opportunity to put things right, but in the event it has not proved to be so. Unfortunately, the Government did not take our representations into account. As a result the Bill is totally inadequate and does not advance the interests of the agricultural industry.

The provisions have been discussed at length on the Floor of the House and in Committee, but after all the talking we have not made any significant progress. We in the alliance believe that one essential element in agriculture is continuity. This element has been destroyed in the Bill, exposing many a tenant farmer and his family to great insecurity.

We suggested a two-generation succession as a fair and equitable compromise. We are disappointed that our arguments were not accepted and we shall vote against Third Reading.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale 11:35 pm, 6th June 1984

I note that the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) and the Liberal party spokesman, the hon. Member for Ceridigion and Pembroke, North (Mr. Howells), intend to vote against Third Reading. Even they would not dispute the need for legislation to make more farm tenancies available. The problem is how to achieve that. One needs only a brief acquaintance with this complex subject to realise that it is exceedingly difficult to maintain the right balance in the landlord-tenant relationship.

Radical measures are unlikely to achieve the degree of performance that is essential if the confidence of those landlords and tenants is to be maintained. That is why the Government took the view that any measures must, so far as possible, be on the basis of agreement with the industry. The Bill is workable and acceptable to landlords and tenants. At technical level we have remedied many of the weaknesses in the present legislation which have been uncovered over the years of practical application.

What is more important, the new rent formula will help to ensure greater confidence in the arbitration process. The changes in the succession arrangement, in conjunction with the fiscal changes introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer will help to create the right climate for landlords to let more land and so create more opportunities for new tenants and new farm entrants on their own account.

We now have a useful Bill which will be widely welcomed by the industry as a whole. I commend it to the House.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 170, Noes 85.

Division No. 356][11.37 pm
Aitken, JonathanBrown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBruinvels, Peter
Ancram, MichaelBuck, Sir Antony
Arnold, TomBudgen, Nick
Ashby, DavidBulmer, Esmond
Aspinwall, JackCarlisle, John (N Luton)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Carttiss, Michael
Baldry, AnthonyCash, William
Batiste, SpencerChope, Christopher
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Bellingham, HenryClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Benyon, WilliamConway, Derek
Berry, Sir AnthonyCoombs, Simon
Bevan, David GilroyCope, John
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnCouchman, James
Bottomley, PeterCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDicks, Terry
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n)Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Dover, Den
Braine, Sir BernardDunn, Robert
Brinton, TimDurant, Tony
Brooke, Hon PeterEmery, Sir Peter
Evennett, DavidPrentice, Rt Hon Reg
Eyre, Sir ReginaldProctor, K. Harvey
Fallon, MichaelRathbone, Tim
Favell, AnthonyRenton, Tim
Fenner, Mrs PeggyRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Forman, NigelRidsdale, Sir Julian
Gale, RogerRifkind, Malcolm
Galley, RoyRobinson, Mark (N'port W)
Garel-Jones, TristanRoe, Mrs Marion
Glyn, Dr AlanRowe, Andrew
Goodlad, AlastairRyder, Richard
Gorst, JohnSayeed, Jonathan
Hargreaves, KennethShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Harris, DavidShelton, William (Streatham)
Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hayes, J.Sims, Roger
Heddle, JohnSkeet, T. H. H.
Henderson, BarrySmith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Howard, MichaelSoames, Hon Nicholas
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)Spencer, Derek
Hunt, David (Wirral)Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Hunter, AndrewSpicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Jackson, RobertStanbrook, Ivor
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelSteen, Anthony
Knox, DavidStern, Michael
Lang, IanStevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Latham, MichaelStevens, Martin (Fulham)
Lawrence, IvanStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Lester, JimStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Lightbown, DavidStradling Thomas, J.
Lilley, PeterSumberg, David
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Lyell, NicholasTemple-Morris, Peter
McCurley, Mrs AnnaTerlezki, Stefan
Macfarlane, NeilThomas, Rt Hon Peter
MacGregor, JohnThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Maclean, David JohnThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
McQuarrie, AlbertThornton, Malcolm
Malins, HumfreyThurnham, Peter
Malone, GeraldTracey, Richard
Maude, Hon FrancisTwinn, Dr Ian
Mawhinney, Dr Brianvan Straubenzee, Sir W.
Mayhew, Sir PatrickViggers, Peter
Mellor, DavidWaddington, David
Meyer, Sir AnthonyWakeham, Rt Hon John
Mills, lain (Meriden)Walden, George
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Mitchell, David (NW Hants)Waller, Gary
Moynihan, Hon C.Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Murphy, ChristopherWarren, Kenneth
Neale, GerrardWatson, John
Needham, RichardWatts, John
Nelson, AnthonyWells, Bowen (Hertford)
Neubert, MichaelWells, John (Maidstone)
Nicholls, PatrickWhitfield, John
Oppenheim, PhilipWinterton, Mrs Ann
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Winterton, Nicholas
Parris, MatthewWolfson, Mark
Patten, John (Oxford)Wood, Timothy
Peacock, Mrs ElizabethWoodcock, Michael
Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Porter, BarryTellers for the Ayes:
Powell, William (Corby)Mr. John Major and Mr. Tim Sainsbury.
Powley, John
Anderson, DonaldConlan, Bernard
Archer, Rt Hon PeterCook, Robin F. (Livingston)
Ashdown, PaddyCorbett, Robin
Beckett, Mrs MargaretCowans, Harry
Beith, A. J.Craigen, J. M.
Bermingham, GeraldCrowther, Stan
Blair, AnthonyCunliffe, Lawrence
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Dalyell, Tam
Caborn, RichardDavies, Ronald (Caerphilly)
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)
Campbell-Savours, DaleDormand, Jack
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Eadie, Alex
Clay, RobertEastham, Ken
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)Ewing, Harry
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Fisher, MarkMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Forrester, JohnParry, Robert
Foster, DerekPenhaligon, David
Freud, ClementPike, Peter
Haynes, FrankPowell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Prescott, John
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)Redmond, M.
Howells, GeraintRobertson, George
Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Sheerman, Barry
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)Skinner, Dennis
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Kirkwood, ArchibaldSmith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Leighton, RonaldSpearing, Nigel
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)Stott, Roger
Lewis, Terence (Worsley)Strang, Gavin
Litherland, RobertThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Loyden, EdwardThompson, J. (Wansbeck)
McDonald, Dr OonaghTinn, James
McKay, Allen (Penistone)Torney, Tom
McKelvey, WilliamWallace, James
Maclennan, RobertWareing, Robert
McTaggart, RobertWeetch, Ken
McWilliam, JohnWelsh, Michael
Madden, MaxWinnick, David
Marek, Dr John
Maxton, JohnTellers for the Noes:
Maynard, Miss JoanMr. John Home Robertson and Mr. Don Dixon.
Meadowcroft, Michael
Michie, William

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.