HC Deb 28 April 1947 vol 436 c1527
49. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many dispossessed farmers have not received and are not receiving rent; and, in view of the fact that many of them cannot afford to employ a solicitor or a valuer, if he will take immediate steps to come to an agreed compensation with them.

Mr. T. Williams

In England and Wales, 811 farmers or owners of farms entitled to compensation rental under the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, are not receiving such rental. The usual reason for non-payment is that the party either neglects to make a claim or declines to follow the usual procedure for settlement of disputed claims. Every effort is made to reach agreement, and ex-gratia payments to cover the reasonable cost of employing a valuer are allowed.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has not answered my Question? Will he take immediate steps to stop this tyrannical treatment of British subjects, because that is in fact what it is?

Mr. Williams

There is no tyrannical treatment. The reason why rentals have not been made is very largely the fault of the people who have been dispossessed.

Sir W. Smithers

The right hon. Gentleman has these poor people at his mercy.