HC Deb 31 May 1945 vol 411 cc356-7
51. Sir William Wayland

asked the Minister of Agriculture the total cost of the war agricultural executive committees, including their staffs, rents, etc., in England and Wales far the year 1944.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. R. S. Hudson)

I am afraid that final figures for the financial year 1944 are not yet available. They will be published in due course in the Civil Appropriation Accounts. In the meantime, my hon. Friend will find the figures for 1943 in Class X of the Civil Appropriation Accounts for that year.

Sir W. Wayland

As the splendid work of these committees, which has been mainly concerned with the ploughing up of grassland, is practically finished, is it not time something was done to economise their expenditure by the closing down of redundant departments?

Mr. Hudson

Yes, but my hon. Friend will no doubt realise from his knowledge of agriculture that many of these accounts cannot be closed for a long time. They generally include such accounts as tenant right and live and dead stock on hand, and more important still, betterment claims for individual farms.

Sir G. Owen

Will the Minister now be able to give the figures for separate war agricultural committees?

Mr. Hudson

Not for some time.