§ 54. Mr. Lawson
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that farmers are receiving notice to terminate the tenancy of their farms owing to a change of ownership; that this implies an alteration of the conditions of the tenancy, unsettles the farmer, and interferes with food production; and whether he proposes to take steps to give the farmers a guarantee against disturbances of the conditions on which he holds his farm?
As the reply is rather long, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL, REPORT.
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the Minister not going to take these steps to protect farmers against landlords giving them notice to terminate their tenancy, at a time when he is asking the fanners to increase their production?
I said in my answer that if the hon. Member will give me particulars of any cases which he has in mind, I will look into them, but I am not aware at the present time of any such cases
§ Mr. Lawson
Has not the right hon. Gentleman received notice of such cases? To my knowledge he has received such notice, and if he has, will he look into them?
If the hon. Member will send me the particulars, I will look into them.
Following is the reply:
Section 26 of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1923, provides that, on the making of any contract for sale of an agricultural holding or any part thereof held by a tenant from year to year, any then current and unexpired notice to determine the tenancy of the holding shall, if the contract for sale is made by the person by whom the notice to quit is given, be null and void, unless the tenant has, prior to such contract of sale, by writing agreed that such notice shall be valid. Moreover, a notice to quit given by a purchaser can only operate at the earliest at the expiration of at least 12 months from the end 397 of the then current year of tenancy and will render the purchaser liable to the payment of compensation for disturbance of at least one year's rent and a maximum of two years' rent. It is probably in these circumstances that my Department has no information that farmers are receiving notices to quit as suggested in the first part of the hon. Member's Question, but if he is aware of any cases and will supply me with particulars, I will give further consideration to the position.