§ MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, if his attention has been called to the resolution passed by farmers in the North of England expressing regret that, in the case of some estate owners, the preservation of game and the enjoyment of sport are made of greater importance than the tilling of their land and the well-being of agriculture and the agriculturists, and urging the landlords to remember that their pleasure may be, and often is, at the cost of their tenant's bread, and begging them not to make the tenant farmer and his interests subservient to that of the gun and the pheasant; and, whether, seeing that the resolution is the outcome of the treatment of several farmers who have recently been turned off farms they have tilled for many years simply because, under the new Act, added power is given to tenants regarding fixity of tenure and compensation, it is his intention to amend the Act so as to prevent such action in the future.
(Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The resolution to which my hon. friend refers has not been communicated to us and we have no knowledge of the particular circumstances which led to its Adoption. My noble friend is not, therefore, in a position to express an opinion as to whether further legislation is necessary; but, as I have already indicated, the working of the Agricultural Holdings Act of last session will be carefully watched, and we shall not allow the intentions of the Act to be defeated.