HC Deb 21 July 1931 vol 255 cc1458-60

First Schedule.—Subsequent Lords Amendments to page 14, line 30, agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 14, line 30, at the end, insert: (18) The eradication of bracken, whins or gorse growing on a holding at the commencement of a tenancy.


I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment and the Amendment in line 11, page 15, mean that the tenant should give notice of his intention to the landlord and that the right of appeal to the Department is brought in. The Amendment in my opinion should not be agreed to. The eradication of bracken is an object to be undertaken when the opportunity offers.


Will the right hon. Gentleman suggest what the suitable opportunity is?


I was just going to explain what was in my mind. If the tenant has to serve notice on the landlord, he will not be able to utilise the numerous opportunities that come to a holder to eradicate bracken. Notwithstanding the merriment that this Amendment gives to the House, I want to say, and I think my Scottish colleagues will agree with me, that one of the great nuisances that agriculturists in Scotland have to contend with is bracken. In my opinion, no difficulties should be placed in the way of parties who are prepared to eradicate bracken.


I am not opposing the point of view of the right hon. Gentleman, but I am constrained to say that the eradication of this noxious weed is not the simple problem that he indicated. If the right hon. Gentleman and his Department will go further into the investigations for the eradication of this weed, all I will say is that I think that those who put down this Amendment in another place had in view the fact that it might be necessary to use chemicals to eradicate it.


We on these benches cordially support the Government in resisting this Lords Amendment in dealing with the plant referred to. I do not think it is right to impose the burden on the farmers that, before they can eradicate this plant, they should send a letter to the landlord intimating that they are going to do it.


I want to know what is really meant by the eradication of this particular weed. If you wish entirely to eliminate bracken, surely it is best to pass the Amendment. I do not think that any reasonable landlord would take any objection whatever to the destruction of bracken. It is obviously needed in the whole of the West Highlands. If you do it so that the landlords and the tenants are co-operating in the elimination of the particular weed, you are in a very much stronger position. The Government have been rather foolish not to accept this Amendment.


This is a matter in which co-operation is desirable between the owners and the tenants. It would be very simple for the tenant to co-operate with the owner on the steps to be taken for the destruction of whins or bracken. I have had a great deal of experience in this matter, and I have seen cases where people, without knowledge, have made matters very much worse instead of improving them. I think that this is an Amendment that the Government should accept.

Lords Amendment: In page 15, line 14, at the end insert: (25) Application to land of purchased artificial or other purchased manure.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This is purely drafting and consequential.

Major WOOD

What is the object in transferring these two lines?


It is simply in order to put the numbers right. It is purely drafting.

Remaining Lords Amendment agreed to.

Committee appointed to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to certain of their Amendments to the Bill.

Committee nominated of Mr. Adamson, Mr. Westwood, Sir Frederick Thomson, Mr. Skelton, and Mr. Scott.

Three to be the Quorum.—[Mr. Adamson.]

To withdraw immediately.

Reason for disagreeing to certain of the Lords Amendments reported, and agreed to.

To be communicated to the Lords.—[Mr. Adamson.]