HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc786-7
9. Miss Wilkinson

asked the Minister of Labour what steps are being taken to safeguard plant and machinery in the 182 vacant land settlement holdings; and whether anything can be done to save the crops remaining in the ground of holdings recently vacated?

Mr. E. Brown

Permanent buildings and equipment, such as piggeries, glasshouses, dutch light structures and fixed poultry houses are being maintained in situ under the supervision of estate managers. Tools and movable equipment are, wherever practicable, collected and stored centrally on each estate for re-issue to subsequent settlers. On some estates such equipment has been maintained on the vacant holdings to facilitate inspection by prospective agricultural tenants. Where a vacant holding contains crops these are cropped and disposed of in the usual way.

Miss Wilkinson

Will the right hon. Gentleman have inquiry made to see whether that reply really fits the facts, as a good many complaints are being made that valuable machinery is being allowed to rot? I could give him information on the matter.

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Lady can give me information I shall be much obliged, and I will have an early inquiry made.

Mr. T. Williams

Are the war agricultural committees playing any part in this matter to see that the maximum use is made of this land?

Mr. Brown

I should like to have notice of that question.