HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 cc2448-9
53. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether when originally announcing that the Government would give the sum of £2 per acre as compensation to farmers for ploughing up new ground, it was the policy of His Majesty's Government that such payment would have to be considered as income?

Mr. T. Williams

I have nothing to add to the replies given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Excheque to my hon. Friend and other hon. Members on 3rd August on this subject.

Mr. Bossom

Has either my right hon. Friend or the Minister ever inferred or stated that this was the policy when the payment was first announced?

Mr. Williams

I am not aware that the Minister, when announcing his policy in May, 1939, or Parliament, which subsequently passed legislation giving effect to the proposals, expressed any views on that subject.

Mr. Bossom

If that is the policy ought not the farmers who receive this money to be so informed?

Mr. Williams

I can only inform my hon. Friend that neither Parliament nor the Minister expressed any views on this point when the matter was discussed here

Mr. Astor

In view of the fact that my right hon. Friend has admitted that there was no consultation at the time between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Treasury, will he see that in future there will be such consideration first, and that it shall be made clear to the farmers whether they are getting £1 or 10s.?

Mr. Williams

Any questions on this subject should be referred to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. De la Bère

If the Treasury have anything to do with it the farmers will not get anything at all.