HC Deb 20 September 1948 vol 456 cc519-20
71. Lieut.-Colonel Corbett

asked the Minister of Agriculture why the notice to quit The Parks Farm, Bitterley, in Shropshire, served on Miss Errington was upheld without a period of supervision; why the district committee was not consulted by the county committee when they considered her case; and what previous warning of bad husbandry had been given to Miss Errington by the C.A.E.C.

Mr. T. Williams

Consent was given to this notice to quit because the Shropshire A.E.C. were satisfied that one of the grounds for consent set out in Section 31 of the Agriculture Act, 1947, was fulfilled, namely, that it was desirable in the interests of efficient farming. The Agricultural Land Tribunal upheld the consent on appeal, and their decision is final. The case was investigated in the first instance by the Estate Management Sub-Committee and not the District Committee, because I have given instructions that the former is the appropriate body for such work. There is no obligation to warn tenants as to their standard of husbandry, or to place them under supervision, before consenting to notices served on them by their landlord.

Lieut.-Colonel Corbett

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that if this lady has been given no indication of bad husbandry it is only reasonable to subject her to a period of supervision before a notice to quit is upheld?

Mr. Williams

We have no power under the Agricultural Act, 1947, to put any person under supervison for bad husbandry of this character.

Mr. Baldwin

is the Minister aware that the farmers in the district feel a great deal of concern when they see a notice to quit upheld without any previous warning?

Mr. Williams

I think the hon. Member and those to whom he refers must be under a misunderstanding. Where the ordinary landowner gives notice to a tenant, the Minister can only either give consent to or disapprove the notice. Whichever of those two things he does, the tenant or the landowner is entitled to go to the Agricultural Land Tribunal, but that is very different from the case where an agricultural executive committee places a farmer under supervision because of bad farming.