HC Deb 05 May 1949 vol 464 cc1210-1
52. Lord Willoughby de Eresby

asked the Minister of Agriculture in what circumstances he will entertain a counter notice under Section 24 (1) of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1948, from an occupier of an agricultural holding, let to him by a county agricultural executive committee and now in receipt of a notice to quit that holding.

Mr. T. Williams

Where the Minister is the owner of the land, the provisions of Section 24 (1) of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1948, apply as they do to privately owned land let on tenancies for a term of years, or from year to year. The provisions do not apply where the land is held under requisition, since neither the Minister nor the county agricultural executive Committee is legally the landlord, and therefore they had no authority to grant tenancies but only to enter into contracts of occupation under Defence Regulation powers.

Lord Willoughby de Eresby

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that even in this second instance which he mentioned, where the land is let under licence, that as a matter of general principle the county agricultural executive committee ought to be under the same regulations as anyone else?

Mr. Williams

As I have already explained to the hon. Gentleman, they cannot be under the same terms and conditions as apply under the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1948, since neither the Minister nor the county executive committee who let the land are actually the landlords. Therefore, they do not come within similar terms. Since this holding is to be derequisitioned by the end of 1950, it is only fair that those who hold the land on contract, knowing fully the whole of the terms, should be given ample notice.

Sir T. Dugdale

Does the Minister's answer mean that these people have no right of appeal to the Agricultural Land Tribunal?

Mr. Williams

The hon. Member was referring only to the termination of tenancies.