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Agricultural Tenancies: Annual Report

Part of Orders of the Day — Agricultural Tenancies Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 19th April 1995.

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Photo of Martyn Jones Martyn Jones , Clwyd South West 4:29 pm, 19th April 1995

We shall be giving assurances later, when we have had time to debate the Bill completely. The assurances that the hon. Gentleman wants have been asked for by industry, and we have been considering them. In due course, the hon. Gentleman may well get those assurances. At the moment, we are debating the need for the figures to assess what any future Government will need to do about tenancies, and whether the Bill has the effect of creating new business tenancies.

It is clear from the announcement this month of the introduction of a new orchard fruit survey that the Minister is not averse to new surveys. There is already an annual report to Parliament on smallholdings in England, and the 44th will be published in November. We are not calling for a radical, costly new imposition, but an easily collectable, and therefore cheap, but very important bit of research.

The Government want to say that they are supporting new entrants into farming, when all they are doing, we believe, is supporting landowners and big businesses. If the Minister denies that, he should support the new clause, and allow the effect of the Bill to be measured.