HC Deb 26 January 1948 vol 446 cc658-61
55. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many acres, by counties, are, at the latest available date, under the control of or being farmed by the county agricultural committees.

Mr. T. Williams

As the reply necessarily contains a large number of figures I am circulating it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir W. Smithers

Can the Minister say how many of these acres now farmed by agricultural committees were taken by force from dispossessed farmers?

Mr. Williams

Not without notice.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me if I give him notice?

Following is the reply:

County. Acres.
Bedford 5,544
Berks 2,885
Bucks. 6,377
Cambridge 13,228
Cheshire 6,663
Cornwall 6,607
Cumberland 5,696
Derby 2,979
Devon 9,955
Dorset 4,480
Durham 3,378
Essex 41,743
Gloucester 15,287
Hereford 3,353
Hertford 9,159
Huntingdon 7,696
Isle of Ely 2,403
Isle of Wight 307
Kent 18,836
Lancashire 3,144
Leicester 6,684
Lincoln (Holland) 371
Lincoln (Kesteven) 5,945
Lincoln (Lindsey) 12,092
Middlesex 3,296
Norfolk 16,132
Northampton 5,895
Northumberland 26,838
Nottingham 9,644
Oxford 4,057
Rutland 5,250
Shropshire 3,332
Soke of Peterborough 2,053
Somerset 9,959
Southampton 12,529
Stafford 3,906
Suffolk (East) 11,219
Suffolk (West) 14,457
Surrey 12,722
Sussex (East) 19,304
Sussex (West) 13,009
Warwick 13,960
Westmorland 4,591
Wiltshire 9,957
Worcester 4,274
Yorkshire (East Riding) 6,272
Yorkshire (North Riding) 6,947
Yorkshire (West Riding) 7,499
Anglesey 848
Brecknock 3,024
Cardigan 1,730
Carmarthen 5,577
Caernarvon 7,934
County. Acres.
Denbigh 4,350
Flint 749
Glamorgan 1,700
Merioneth 1,620
Monmouth 2,996
Montgomery 7,294
Pembroke 10,217
Radnor 4,390


  1. 1. The above figures cover:
    1. (a) Land held under requisition by committees (including land on which the requisition has been transferred from a Service Department): 357,197 acres;
    2. (b) Land requisitioned or owned by Service Departments, but being cultivated under arrangements made with Committees: 114,966 acres;
    3. (c) Former grassland improvement stations under lease to the Minister: 2,180 acres.
  2. 2. Of the total of 474,343 acres, some 257,040 acres are being farmed direct by committees and the remainder has been let.

56. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent farms under the control of county war agricultural committees are subjected to independent periodical examination; by whom; and how often.

Mr. T. Williams

Land being farmed by the committees is not subject to independent periodical inspection.

Sir W. Smithers

Why is the land which is being farmed by agricultural committees not subject to inspection, to see that the committees comply with the principles of good husbandry, in exactly the same way as private farmers, who have been dispossessed, where inspected, have been dispossessed because it was said that they did not comply with those principles?

Mr. Williams

I do not see the wisdom of setting up inspectors to inspect the inspectors.

58. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture the size of the war agricultural executive committees throughout England and Wales as at 1st January, 1948, giving the total number of members who are paid officials; and if he will give an approximate figure of the travelling allowances paid for the 12 months 1st January, 1947, to 1st January, 1948.

Mr. T. Williams

Paid staff of county agricultural executive committees totalled 3,300 technical and administrative staff and 6,600 clerks and typists on 1st January, 1948. The estimated expenditure on travelling and subsistence by members and staff of committees for the period 1st January to 31st December, 1947, is £605,000.

Mr. De la Bère

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these figures require a good deal of thought, and that I shall ask a supplementary question on his answer when I have had the time to consider them?