9. Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if his attention has been directed to a recent article by Mr. James Long, a member of the Small Holdings Committee, showing how the Orders made this year under the Defence of the Realm Act with regard to the compulsory taking and using of uncultivated land for food production have failed to effect their purpose; and whether he will consider the desirability of bringing economic pressure to bear on those who are withholding land from use by taxing them on its selling value under the Defence of the Realm Act?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Sir Richard Winfrey)
I have seen the article referred to which misconceives the effect of the Orders. There is no necessity to put pressure on landowners in the manner proposed, as the Orders of the Board authorise the local authorities to enter forthwith on any land which is not being so cultivated as to increase, as far as practicable, the food supply of the country.
Does the hon. Gentleman not recognise that it is necessary to bring economic pressure to bear on those who are withholding their land for cultivation?