As my hon. Friend will know, under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenants are entitled to compensation in recognition of the value of improvements they have made on the holding. At the same time, it seems reasonable that they should also receive some recognition of the contribution they have made to the milk quota allocated to the holder. There is a later question on the Order Paper on this subject, but I can say that we are tabling an amendment to the Agriculture Bill today to provide for that.
It would be a mistake to start talking about percentages in these terms, because circumstances vary enormously from individual to individual. In general, we should leave the detailed discussions on these matters to arbitrators.
Will the Minister tell the House whether the Commission's discussions on the outgoers scheme covered the workers in the farming, dairy distributive and processing industries? The workers in those industries have been made unemployed and creameries have been shut down. There is a great difference in redundancy payments for people who will probably never get another job because of the Government's policies on employment.
I am aware that the hon. Gentleman has raised the question of redundancy payments for dairy industry workers over a period of time. I have listened to him, but I have to tell him that when the dairy industry was discussed in the Council of Ministers that particular aspect of the matter was not considered
It is deplorable that the redundancy rights of employees in the dairy industry were not discussed in the Council of Ministers. Will the Minister say more about the Government's attitude towards compensation for tenants and the right of tenants to a fair share of the value of their milk quota? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we would oppose any settlement which gave tenants less than 50 per cent. of the value of their quota?
This was the first and only occasion on which we had discussed the details of the Commission's proposed outgoers scheme, and redundancy rights of dairy workers were not raised in the course of the discussion.
On his second question, the hon. Member should not get too tied into specific figures with regard to this form of compensation. There is a huge range of different situations, all of which must be treated on their individual merits by the arbitrators at the time.
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the depth of feeling among west country tenant farmers that the present proposals do not adequately recognise their contribution to farming units? Does my right hon. Friend agree that, under his present proposals, the average tenant would receive only about a third of the available compensation? Surely that is inadequate and should not be approved.
We have not yet tabled an amendment, although we shall do so later today. My hon. Friend should think in terms of the burden being put on the ingoing tenant who follows a tenant who received substantial compensation. That is all part of the equation. It is a mistake to attach specific figures, because there will be a wide range of levels of compensation once the arbitrators have done their work.