HC Deb 19 June 1939 vol 348 c1800
41. Mr. Richards

asked the Minister of Agriculture what proposal does he consider making with a view to restoring the derelict land not only in the Eastern counties but also in other parts of the country to a condition of prosperity?

Sir R. Dorman Smith

I would refer the hon. Member to the provisions of the Agricultural Development Bill, now before the House, which, together with other measures in pursuance of the Government's policy, is intended to enable farmers to make the fullest possible use of their land.

Mr. Richards

Does the Minister think that this will restore the derelict areas we have in this country, and would it not be well to consider taking some of these areas over by the State, as has been advocated by expert agriculturists?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

No, Sir. I think the job of the Government is to create conditions in which the farmers themselves can do this work; and I think a lot of that work is really being done.

Mr. J. Morgan

Would not the Minister agree that what he saw in the Eastern Counties is typical of the country as a whole?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

No, Sir.

Mr. Sorensen

Would not the Minister agree that private enterprise in farming has failed?