HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1261-2
54. Mr. Adamson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that an order made by the Staffordshire War Agricultural Committee enforces the ploughing-up of grassland on a farm holding at Pattingham, Staffordshire, to the extent of over 50 per cent. of available grassland, although the present tenant is on notice to vacate and give up possession of this land on 25th March next; that, while land equal in size has been offered by the owner, Major R. S. Wilson, on the same holding, the committee insist upon the terms entered into with the present tenant; and what steps he is taking, as the enforcement of such an order is unlikely to maintain the good will necessary to encourage more extensive cultivation of land?

Sir W. Womersley

This case was brought to the notice of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries by the hon. Member in a letter which he addressed to him on 9th November, and I would remind him that in the reply which my right hon. Friend sent to him on 29th November he stated that these matters could in his opinion be best dealt with by the local War Agricultural Executive Committees who are able to investigate and consider all the relevant facts. My right hon. Friend is satisfied as a result of inquiries that the Staffordshire Committee have given full consideration to the representations that Major Wilson has made to them and he does not feel justified in taking any further action in the matter.

Mr. Adamson

Would the hon. Gentleman convey to his right hon. and gallant Friend that, in regard to the exercise of these powers by the agricultural committees, there should be some supervision and an appeal against their decision?

Sir W. Womersley

I will certainly draw the attention of my right hon. and gallant Friend to that matter.