Consequential Amendments

Part of Orders of the Day — Agricultural Tenancies Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:23 pm on 19th April 1995.

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Photo of Mr Derek Enright Mr Derek Enright , Hemsworth 6:23 pm, 19th April 1995

If I had any evidence that institutions were lending money long-term on stable low interest rates, I would be delighted to accept the hon. Gentleman's proposition. Such evidence is not available. I agree wholeheartedly with the hon. Gentleman's criticism of the banks. They have been truly appalling in the money that they have been screwing out of farmers and of people in many other industries.

We are maintaining that this is not a fair Bill. It does not achieve parity between the landlord and the tenant farmer. The Government may say—it is a philosophy—that the landlord should be completely in control of what, is happening, but we, the Opposition, would maintain that that gives the landlord the ability considerably to exploit tenants.

There is talk about a massive consensus. The Secretary of State has said that there is a consensus between the Tenant Farmers Association, that well-known follower of Gracchi agricultural reform, the Country Landowners Association and the National Farmers Union, which was so radical in the beliefs that it professed. We have also the young farmers, like David Archer, who is trying to get a contract for a new firm. These radical organisations are coming into agreement. What an amazing thing. The amazing thing would be if they in no way agreed.

The hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Knapman) said—I shall finish on this point, as many hon. Members wish to speak—that the Bill was near perfection. Near perfection, indeed. We shall certainly monitor him on that. If he thinks that the Bill is near perfection, his standards are so low and his aims are in the mud instead of to the sky. We want to look after the long-term tenants, who are still being thrown to the wolves in the Bill.