HC Deb 08 March 1948 vol 448 cc787-8
48. Mr. Gooch

asked the Minister of Agriculture what was the number of applications for cottage certificates made to county agricultural executive committees in the year 1947; and what was the number granted.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

In 1947, 2,255 applications were received by county war agricultural executive committees in England and Wales, and 1,134 certificates were granted.

Mr. Gooch

Is not the Minister aware of the resentment in the countryside regarding the procedure under which cottages that have never been tied become tied cottages by this simple process; and will he undertake not to create any more tied cottages in agriculture?

Mr. Williams

If the theory is that the granting of a certificate is a help towards getting possession, then the panel procedure now operating through county agricultural executive committees saved 50 per cent. of all those tenants who hitherto would have been turned out if certificates had been granted.

Mr. Stubbs

Can the Minister tell us the number of evictions arising out of these applications; and is he aware that so long as these evictions continue we shall never get the men back to the land to carry out his policy?

Mr. Williams

I could not say without notice the number of persons removed from their homes.