§ 101. Mr. SAMUEL PATTINSON
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that several smallholders on the Eastville estate, Lincolnshire, have received notice to quit; whether he is aware that they are ex-service men; and whether he will use his influence to prevent these men being turned out before sufficient inquiries have been made into the conditions which have rendered it impossible for them to meet their liabilities?
§ Major BARNSTON
I have been asked to reply. The Ministry is informed by the Lindsey County Council that nine notices to quit were served on smallholders at Eastville either on account of bad farming, or, in certain cases, because the Small Holdings Committee considered that, as the tenants showed no likelihood of making a success of their enterprise, it would be in the best interests of the men themselves that the should be required to give up their holdings. The holdings were in each case previously inspected by a Sub-Committee, and the tenants attended and were heard at a meeting of the full Committee. As the result of a further inspection by the Sub-Committee, three notices were withdrawn, and the Committee have offered to withdraw the notice in another case if the smallholder's father will give a guarantee. Two other tenants have become bankrupt, while in another case the father and brother of the late tenant are now in occupation. The action of the county council was taken only after the most careful consideration, and with the concurrence of the Ministry's District Commissioner, and my right hon. Friend is not, therefore, prepared to intervene in the matter.