HC Deb 01 November 1949 vol 469 cc255-73
The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. George Brown)

I beg to move, in page 8, line 26, at the end, to insert: (3) Where it is so agreed between the verderers and the Minister, the Minister shall make to the verderers in respect of land for the time being enclosed by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this section payments of such amounts as may be specified in the agreement. As my right hon. Friend made clear on an earlier occasion, this is one of those Amendments which theoretically are in the Bill but which, for reasons of Privilege, are not inserted by another place. I am moving now to insert the words.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Mr. W. S. Morrison

On the previous Amendment the argument was put forward that forestry was an excellent thing, and therefore, the Forest must make its contribution towards it. That is not quite putting the situation in its proper light. This Clause, like the one we discussed last, is an enclosure Clause, and however admirable the objectives set out to be achieved by the enclosure might appear to those who advocate it, they have to be weighed against the undesirability from the public point of view of increasing the pressure to enclose more and more of this unique piece of common land.

It was said—and I have no doubt It will be said on this Amendment because the argument is equally relevant to it—that in the last resort those who have to consent to a specific proposal to enclose are the verderers, and that, therefore, they can be relied upon to withstand this pressure. What we are doing here is to create an instrument which will have the effect of increasing the pressure to enclose part of the Forest.

Mr. Shackleton


Mr. Morrison

Because it makes it possible for the verderers to enclose up to 3,000 acres under this Clause for the purposes of grassland improvements. If so the enactment of this Bill means that the verderers will have to consider resisting, if they feel so disposed, a proposal which otherwise could not come before them. The consequence is that we have to rely entirely upon the verderers in this matter, and not upon Parliament at all. I am not going to repeat the argument, because that would be art abuse of the Committee, but I would refer the Committee to the argument that I used about the new constitution which is proposed for the verderers, because if we are to regard them as the only bulwark against this fresh pressure to enclose, it surely is relevant to remember that there has been a large invasion of nominated persons as opposed to elected persons.

Mr. Shackleton

What is the significance of the right hon. Gentleman's last remark?

Mr. Morrison

The significance of it is that whereas under the constitution of the verderers as laid down in the Act of 1877 there were six elected verderers to one nominated one, there are now to be five of each, and of the nominated five one of them is to be chairman and to have a casting vote. It is true and worthy of bearing in mind that by a provision under this Bill the verderer who is nominated by the Minister of Agriculture is not entitled to vote on a presentment for the purpose of this Clause, and that gives the elected verderers a majority of one. I doubt whether that is what we in this House would call a working majority for all purposes.

It is true that the nominated verderers may not agree with a proposal, and may come to the assistance of the elected verderers in resisting what they think to be improper, but my experience of persons nominated is that they tend to have a natural sympathy for each other's ideas. We should consider this proposal, not entirely on the agricultural merits of enclosing grassland, but balancing it against the fresh danger of enclosing a further parcel of 3,000 acres. When we referred to this on Second Reading, the right hon. Gentleman, who has had to leave us for a moment, produced an eloquent argument in the course of which he waved a magazine in which was published an article by my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Mr. Hurd), with some photographs showing what had been done by a county agricultural executive committee in improving the grassland in the Forest during the war. At that time why was it not linked with any figures regarding the cost of those successfully re-seeded?

6.0 p.m.

It is very relevant surely to consider that question. There was some evidence on this subject given, I found, before the Select Committee by a very distinguished servant of the Ministry of Agriculture, who has given a lot of service to the Department and who knows what he is talking about. He is Mr. Arthur Richard Manktelow. In Question 433 he was asked what were the net costs of this experiment by the agricultural committee. He replied: On the 300 acres which were cultivated and cropped, and which are to be returned for grazing this coming year, the accounts are still not complete because a certain amount of re-seeding has yet to be done, but, as far as we know, the net cost is not likely to be more than £4 per acre. By the net cost I presume is meant the cost of the whole agricultural process, less the gains from the cultivation of the land. The next question was: But you have not got the accounts out yet, have you? The answer was: They are not yet complete. He was asked: What about the other 300 acres? Have you got the accounts for them? The answer was: The other 300 acres, which were found to be not suitable for cultivation and cropping, did result in a substantial excess of expenditure.

Mr. Bracken

A groundnut scheme.

Mr. Morrison

He was asked what he called a substantial excess of expenditure, and what the figure was. He replied that the figure was about £6,000, on 300 acres. He was asked: So that you succeeded in losing there £20 an acre? He replied: Yes, for the reason, as I say, that the land was found not to be suitable for cropping. Therefore, the committee did not get the advantage of the receipts from the three or four years of crops that they expected to get in the first place. It is therefore clear, when we weigh the proposal that is before us in this Clause, that the operation is attended with a great deal of doubt and risk as to its advisability in the public interest. It is not at all the clear case that it appeared to be at first sight. Indeed, the Baker Committee, which has been quoted very often when it suited the case of the right hon. Gentleman, took a rather gloomy view of the whole proposal of this Clause.

I would first make the point which I tried to make in my Second Reading speech, that this elaborate process of fencing off, taking crops off the land, and then re-seeding after a term of six or seven years, is not the only way to improve grass land. We all agree in the desirability of improving grass land but, if I may quote and adopt as my own opinion the paragraph on page 43 of the Baker Report, I would say: The large consensus of opinion expressed to us was that the cheapest and most effective way of improving and maintaining the quality of the grazing of the forest was to increase the head of cattle on it. With this we agree. It was pointed out that as a direct result of the increase in numbers of cattle turned out during the war the heather and other coarse herbage round the edges of some of the lawns are giving way to grass. Some, however, expressed doubt whether by itself this would be enough. They think that it will be necessary to cut or burn the rough stuff or else the change over to grass will take a very long time. I think that may be necessary. When the Committee deal with the work of the war agricultural committees, to which I have just referred, they describe the process shortly, and they say: We have been led to expect that the results will not be so favourable as supposed and that the net cost will probably work out at between £5 and £10 per acre. Then, they say, the Ministry of Agriculture had put up an alternative proposal that after the land had been cultivated and laid down to grass as in the experiment, the fences should remain and animals should be admitted by gates to graze part of the enclosure from time to time. In their view, permanent control of the grazing is essential to secure lasting results. But they go on to say: This proposal, like the experiment, applies to the lawns only, and the total area affected would not be more than 4,000 acres, but in both cases there would be a serious loss of amenity. Fences would be erected where there have been wide open spaces and the freedom with which people can ride or roam over the forest would be restricted Then they give instances of particular beauty spots which would have to be excluded, and they say: If they are disregarded, there still remains the question of cost, which would be a substantial addition to the verderers' expenses"— that does not apply now, because the Ministry is to pay all that— and must be balanced against the possible benefit to the commoners. They add: 'We cannot include the proposal in our recommendations. On the particular proposal before us, I would point out that the 3,000 acres seems to me, with limited knowledge, to be a very large amount of land to render subject to enclosure for this purpose. The county war agricultural committees' experiment extended to some 600 acres. It seems to me that until more work has been done on this matter, and until we know exactly what the areas are with which it is decided to experiment and their total effect upon the economics and amenities of the New Forest, we should not proceed with it but should follow the more sensible course of improving the grazing and increasing the cattle on it with such additional burning and clearance of the rough stuff as may be necessary. I do not think that a case has been made out for this further enclosure and I therefore do not agree with the Clause standing part of the Bill.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

There is little I would add to what has been said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison). One of the points that have been made by the Government is that areas taken for conifer planting would be useless for grazing. It is clear that this 3,000 acres will have to come out of good forest land, valuable to the commoners. Any land so taken must reduce the potentiality of the forest for the use of commoners' cattle. That is the first point we should realise.

The second is that, whether these experiments be good or bad in the end, the fact remains that they do not form a proper part of the New Forest economy. They are large tracts, generally in the middle of the forest. The Parliamentary Secretary will know the Forest and he will also know that many of these tracts are round Brockenhurst, right in the middle of the Forest and are no use whatever for the small commoner living on the perimeter of the forest. These commoners, for the most part, want to have the use of their traditional lawns, which exist round the perimeter of the forest. The institution of these new large areas in the centre is no good whatsoever to them.

The next thing, which the Parliamentary Secretary may have seen during his visit, is that once one of these areas which have been re-seeded is thrown open, it attracts all the cattle to it. I was through the Forest yesterday and I saw one of these tracts, which must have had on it about 100 head of cattle. The result is that such tracts are hopelessly overgrazed, and within a few months are of no further use. I will take two examples of areas which have been thrown open. One of them is close to the aerodrome and the other is just outside Wootton. Those two areas have been thrown open. They were extensively grazed for about six months; in fact they were overgrazed. They are now back to the state they were in before the Ministry took them over. The one at Wootton is covered with rushes and the other is already getting scrub gorse and bracken on it.

What is wanted in the Forest, if we desire to spend money to improve the pasture, is the drainage and reclamation, as my right hon. Friend said, by extra burning and clearing of gorse, of the traditional pastures. The first task is to see that next to every holding there is a feeding place for the mulch cows. By doing that we shall aid agriculture far more than by going in for this sort of speculative scheme which has not been proved.

Is the Minister satisfied that before the Hampshire Agricultural Committee took over any of these areas they took any soil tests to discover what these areas should grow? I think he will find that, instead of proceeding slowly and on a scientific basis on this matter, the Hampshire Agricultural Committee have just taken pot luck and in the result have lost a lot of public money. I support my right hon. Friend and hope that we shall not allow the Clause to remain.

Mr. G. Brown

I cannot help feeling that there is in this discussion some hangover from the discussion on the previous Clause which has led us, in effect, to try to turn down a proposal which stands by itself and has no relation to the one we were discussing just now. The proposal has had the most beneficial result so far as it has gone. I cannot help wishing that hon. Gentlemen opposite would read a little more and pay a little more attention to the opinions of their own argricultural Members. Reference was made to the producing by my right hon. Friend of "Country Life" for 26th August in which there was a very excellent article by the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. Hurd). I make no apology for producing it again. It ought not just to be tossed aside. The hon. Member for Newbury, as the right hon. Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson) will be the first to testify, knows what he is talking about and has a good deal of experience, quite as much as any hon. Member opposite except the right hon. Member for Southport.

We are now talking about improving pasture land. We are not now on the pines and conifers of the right hon. Member for Bournemouth (Mr. Bracken). In these matters the hon. Member for Newbury knows as much as the right hon. Member for Bournemouth, who might pay a little attention to his own hon. Friends who know something about it. It would be worth his while to look at that article. I doubt whether he has seen it or whether he knew it existed until I mentioned it. It not only shows very excellent pictures before and after of the areas tackled in the New Forest, but gives details of the results, and the hon. Member for Newbury makes one or two comments of his own. Incidentally, he says: If the commoners of the New Forest can be satisfied that they will gain rather than lose by these proposals, it may well encourage the Minister of Agriculture to take his courage in both hands and propose that other common land should be dealt with in the same way. There was the hon. Member for Newbury hoping that my right hon. Friend would be encouraged to take his courage in both hands and go on, and yet the Opposition have just been trying to damp down what we have done. The hon. Member for Newbury also gives it as his opinion that if the whole 300 acres were enclosed, there would still be plenty of room for the other activities to go on. Clearly, there is a decided difference of opinion. I mention it not because I rely wholly on the hon. Member for Newbury, but to show that there are hon. Members on the other side who recognise the value of this.

I was interested in a very revealing statement with which the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison) ended his speech. He said that until more work had been done on this we should not proceed. I thought that was extraordinary. The reason for the proposal in the Bill that there should be power to do it is that more work might be done. If we take that proposal out of the Bill, more work cannot go on. If we are not to proceed until more work goes on, it is difficult to see how we are to proceed.

6.15 p.m.

I believe there is a misunderstanding. What is proposed is not that, on the evidence of the 600 acres so far tackled, we should proceed with another 3,000 acres straight away, but that we should have the power—which is permissive and which, despite the suspicion and doubts of the right hon. Gentleman, is in the end in the hands of the elective verderers—to go on doing this experimental work which, as the right hon. Member for Southport will so well testify, has been such valuable work and has given us such valuable results hitherto. We require the power in order to go on, and with the Clause out of the Bill, the power to go on will not be there.

The hon. and gallant Member for New Forest and Christchurch (Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre) said what I know to be true from the evidence of my own eyes. I was told only a day or two ago by someone who had been down in the New Forest at the weekend that on one of these reseeded areas a very heavy head of cattle was pasturing. I was told that it was something like 150 head of cattle on a 50-acre piece. The hon. and gallant Member seemed to think that completely destroyed the case for re-seeding. Surely it does not. The fact that the animals flocked there probably means that they have at last found somewhere to get something to eat. The fact that they tend to flow on to these areas is in itself a justification for doing the job and suggests that if there is other land which could be tackled, it might be a good idea to tackle it, because we could then stop the over-cropping of the re-seeded land and carry rather more stock all over these lawns, thus increasing the head of cattle in the Forest.

I would draw to the attention of the hon. and gallant Gentleman that Clause 14 (4) lays down the powers which the verderers will have after the experiment has been carried through to try to secure controlled grazing so that the commoners shall gain the greatest value from the experiment. Hitherto, even if I could not agree with the hon. and gallant Gentleman, I could understand his putting up a battle for what he thought to be the rights of the commoners on this, that or the other, but that is leading him and the right hon. Member for Bournemouth into queer fields now.

What is now proposed is that, by permission of the verderers, the State shall come in and spend money in the interests of food production and agricultural well-being to improve the land on which the animals of the commoners will graze, and, at the end of it, at no cost to themselves, the commoners shall be able to have available for their animals highly improved grazing places so that they can keep more and better animals. We are now being invited by the champions of the commoners to deny to the commoners the benefits which will come as a result of the State spending money on improving the grazing places of their areas. Whatever other arguments there are against doing this—there may be some—that one surely cannot be sustained.

This proposal cannot be objected to on the grounds of the commoners' interests. Spending money to produce the widest possible benefits may fall to be criticised in the general way, but I would remind the right hon. Member for Bournemouth and his hon. and gallant Friend that the tackling of marginal areas—he was talking about marginal land in Surrey earlier, and the noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) is very keen about the marginal lands of that area—is necessarily an expensive thing upon which one needs to experiment and to buy experience as one goes along. The greatest danger which can be done to agriculture and to agricultural interests in the country is by loose talking about it—

Mr. Bracken

Loose spending is worse.

Mr. Brown

More damage will be done by loose talking. There is an awful backlog of failure to spend on the part of the Opposition which has to be made up. The right hon. and gallant Member for the Scottish Universities (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) who has just come in, is as big a villain of the piece in that respect as any other hon. Gentleman opposite.

The point I am making is that to take the figures for one area of 300 acres, which it was decided in the end was not yielding the results, and which was not, therefore, kept enclosed for a longer period during which income might have come in, would be a very bad way to deduce results for the whole question of improving the pastures of either the New Forest or of the marginal lands in this country as a whole. If one looks at it as a whole, on that basis the costs have been down to £4 an acre, and if one compares those figures of oat crops, of which the hon. Member for Newbury gave pictures with the pictures of cattle pasturing, and if one takes into account the hon. and gallant Gentleman's own experience yesterday where he saw the cattle rushing on to the re-seeded area, one gets a much more balanced picture of the costs and results.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The 300 acres which cost £6,000 were 300 selected acres, not an average of the whole forest. They were chosen by the agricultural experts of the locality as being likely to yield the best results, and yet the cost was so high.

Mr. Brown

I am not denying that in that area 300 acres were chosen as likely to be worth improving and turned out to be not worth it. I am only reminding the right hon. Gentleman that, if one is to tackle the question of improving the marginal land of this country, one has to be prepared for the fact that some areas will turn out not to have been worth it, but that is a necessary hazard of doing the job. So far as we have gone, our experience like that in the New Forest is that by and large it has been well worth while, even though there have been some areas where it has not.

The right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury said we must not consider it solely on agricultural grounds but proceeded hardly to consider it on those grounds at all. If we are to consider it on agricultural grounds I suggest that a considerable case can be made out for doing just what we are proposing to do, namely, to retain a permissive power to try to improve the grazings in the New Forest which will be so much for the benefit of the commoners.

The right hon. Gentleman said that this was an enclosure Clause. I ask that we be careful in the language we use here. An enclosure Clause would be a right definition if we were proposing permanently to enclose, but if the right hon. Gentleman will look at subsections (4) and (5)—as I am sure he has, though I am not quite clear whether his right hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth has done so—he will see that it is precisely provided there that this shall not be an enclosure Clause in that sense; that when the land has gone through its rotation and has been improved, it goes back to the verderers as open land for pasturing, subject to any conditions they may make in the interests of the commoners. So we shall not enclose for a long period but merely for the period during which the improvement will take place.

Everybody who has considered this, whatever other criticism they have made, has said something nice about the results of the experimental work carried out so far in the New Forest. Even the New Forest Commoners Defence Association said that where re-seeding has already taken place the results are satisfactory and should provide an abundance of good grazing for the animals of the commoners. So there is a wealth of evidence that the work has been useful.

My right hon. Friend's nominee will not vote on this issue. In normal circumstances there will be a majority of elected verderers to decide it, the power is wholly permissive, it will be a decision of the verderers, and all the benefit—insofar as it does not accrue to all the people through better animals and more of them—accrues to the commoners and they will not pay a penny for it. I really shall be surprised if the hon. and gallant Gentleman and his right hon. Friends persist in refusing to the commoners the possibility of a considerable improvement for which their fellow citizens are prepared to pay.

Mr. Bracken

We have just heard a speech from a junior Minister in which he rebuked my right hon. and hon. Friends for our lack of desire to spend more at a time when we are warned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that Britain is slithering into bankruptcy. I can never criticise the Government for their failure to spend. That is about the only quality of efficiency they have shown since they came into office.

Mr. Brown

It is nice of the right hon. Gentleman to give way so soon. I take it that he will be aware that at the conference of his own party at Earls Court the hon. and gallant Member for Richmond (Sir T. Dugdale), in winding up the Debate on agriculture, made as his great point that the party opposite would spend something like £30 million on reclaiming and improving marginal land, and it was that I was talking about.

Mr. Bracken

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir T. Dugdale) would not approve such fantastic schemes as the one suggested by the hon. Gentleman—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] No, he would not, and it is wrong for a Minister to come to the House today and denounce the Conservative Party for their lack of interest in spending money. We are right on the road to ruin and the Minister—[Laughter.] The Minister laughs. The Chancellor of the Exchequer does not. If he were here today and gave a frosty glance at the right hon. Gentleman, he would not encourage his junior Minister to indulge in this verbal extravagance.

Mr. McGhee (Penistone)

Only verbal now?

Mr. Bracken

And very much actual. The Minister quoted "Country Life" and suggested that we never read that publication. I am a lifelong reader of the paper and I am glad to know that the Minister has taken some notice of one article in it. However, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, "Country Life" is a constant critic of this Government and it is foolish to pick out one article from it which suits the purpose of the Government—

Mr. Brown

Why not?

Mr. Bracken

—and then tell us it is a kind of bible accepted by both sides. Again the Minister made no attempt to deal with the admirable speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison) who took the Minister through some of his arguments, for instance the evidence given before the Select Committee. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen opposite have read it, but it is interesting. At each stage witnesses were asked, "Has this agricultural experiment in the New Forest paid?" Gradually the truth was drawn out of them that, largely speaking, big losses were incurred. I do not think the Minister will disagree with that. In point of fact, there has been no real profit and loss account produced for this agricultural experiment in the New Forest.

In its own small way I dare say it will be judged as being about as successful as the Government's frenzied groundnuts policy. The truth is that money was spent on a big scale on agricultural experiments in the New Forest but the Government's own witnesses admitted that they could not produce a profit and loss account. Therefore it is wrong to generalise, as the Parliamentary Secretary did, and say, "We had already tested the land and we found that, on the whole, we might go forward with this enclosure." That is to say, we might spend a great deal of public money on trying to discover whether we can produce good crops on the 3,000 acres which the Government propose to enclose. This is not a time for such expenditure. Furthermore, the traditional pastures of the Forest must not be touched. The Socialists are now the new enclosers and the gamblers—on both grounds one can convict the Government.

6.30 p.m.

At present they should leave the New Forest alone. We have not the resources necessary for the agricultural experiments that occur to the bright-eyed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture. The truth is that for many years to come we cannot engage in this business of testing out whether the New Forest can grow certain types of crops that the Government like. I have told the Minister already that the arguments put forward by the Government for spending a lot more money on planting and growing in the New Forest were completely absurd. I said that if we were to accept their arguments, we ought to tear up the whole of Kew Gardens and grow brussels sprouts and cabbages instead of the plants which are there now.

I hoped that the Minister would have realised the absolute necessity of economy at this time and, on those grounds alone, refused to spend money on experiments in the New Forest, either in growing conifers or in enclosing land. I am very sorry that no representative of the Treasury is here tonight. There was a time when the Minister of Fuel and Power was a bailiff in charge of the Treasury for his master now absent in Paris. If a representative of the Treasury were here I might be able to appeal to him to aid me in voting down this proposal of the Government, which could not be more inopportune at the present time. For the many admirable reasons I have stated, I hope that my hon. Friends will vote against this proposal or perchance that the Minister of Agriculture, who has a great deal of good sense, will realise at the very last hour, that sometimes it is wise to be converted, and that the opportunity for him is now.

Mr. Shackleton

I do not know why my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture attempts to do anything for the New Forest in view of the line of talk which we now hear from the right hon. Member for Bournemouth (Mr. Bracken), who represents a neighbouring constituency. He has intervened persistently in the Debate without the slightest knowledge of the issues involved, and his last speech is as mischievous and as party political as anything he has ever perpetrated in the House of Commons.

The whole line of discussion from the Opposition today has been on questions like whether or not there should be nominated members of the court of verderers. They were taking a very different line yesterday on the House of Lords, however, and they might have shown a different interest today. This proposal and the Clause itself are designed entirely for the benefit of the commoners of the New Forest. If it is not in their interests, I do not know why we are bothering about it at all. It may be that we are wrong to consider the Clause. The only reason why we should do so is that the evidence of whether or not these temporary enclosures for improving grazing are of benefit to the New Forest is conflicting. There are a lot of people in the Forest who believe it is to their advantage. In fact, the expert on the New Forest—I think he was brought forward as an expert by the Commoners Defence Association—made it clear that the land which had been enclosed for growing crops had produced better grazing. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who is he?"] The Report goes back a long way, but I think he was Mr. Manktelow.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

He is from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mr. Shackleton

I think it was Mr. Royston Askew.

Mr. Bracken

The hon. Member has now brought in the junior counsel to the Crown as an agricultural expert. If that is all that the hon. Member can do, I do not think he ought to go on speaking very much longer.

Mr. Shackleton

The right hon. Gentleman knows that he has not even attempted to read this document. The gentleman in question was Mr. Basil Sidney Furneaux, who stated—perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will note this—that, in fact, the enclosures had led to an improvement in grazing. The extraordinary thing to me is that the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury should find himself in such company as the right hon. Member for Bournemouth on such an issue when he is faced with a serious agricultural problem. The Government are making an attempt to improve marginal land, and this type of thoroughly malicious and irresponsible criticism does no good at all.

Mr. Furneaux also stated that he saw no harm whatsoever in providing for the enclosure of certain land for growing crops with a view to improving the grazing, provided the verderers were able to say whether or not that course was desirable. That is precisely what they are able to say. But personally I do not think that this experiment is in any way a guaranteed success.

Mr. Bracken

Hear, hear.

Mr. Shackleton

I have heard the complaints. It is a serious problem to decide whether or not the land should remain enclosed afterwards. I, too, have seen large numbers of cattle in a very small area, and I think it is a very doubtful proposition. I personally am not prepared to support this Measure, but I consider that the line which the right hon. Member for Bournemouth and his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for New Forest and Christchurch (Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre) have taken has been

harmful in the extreme, and I hope that they realise they are doing no good either to the cause of agriculture or to the New Forest.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre


The Chairman

I hope that the Committee will proceed to a decision.

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes. 245: Noes, 120.

Division No. 268.] AYES [6.40 p.m.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Farthing, W. J. McAllister, G.
Albu, A. H. Fernyhough, E. McEntee, V. La T.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) McGhee, H. G.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Follick, M. Mack, J. D.
Attewtll, H. C. Forman, J. C. McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Austin, H. Lewis Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N. W.)
Awbery, S. S. Freeman, Peter (Newport) McKinlay, A. S.
Ayles, W. H. Ganley, Mrs. C. S. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Gilzean, A. Macpherson, T. (Romford)
Balfour, A. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Mainwaring, W. H.
Barton, C. Goodrich, H. E. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Battley, J. R. Gordon-Walker, P. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)
Bechervaise, A. E. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Mann, Mrs. J.
Berry, H. Grenfell, D. R. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)
Bing, G. H. C. Grey, C. F. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Binns, J. Grierson, E. Mathers, Rt. Hon. George
Blyton, W. R. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Mellish, R. J.
Boardman, H. Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side) Messer, F.
Bottomley, A. G. Guest, Dr. L. Haden Mitchison, G. R.
Bowden, H. W. Gunter, R. J. Monslow, W.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Guy, W. H. Moody, A. S.
Bramall, E. A. Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Hale, Leslie Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil Mort, D. L.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Moyle, A.
Brown, George (Belper) Hardy, E. A. Murray, J. D.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hastings, Dr. Somerville. Nally, W.
Brown, W. J. (Rugby) Haworth, J. Naylor, T. E.
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. Herbison, Miss M. Neal, H. (Claycross)
Burden, T. W. Hobson, C. R. Oldfield, W. H.
Burke, W. A. Holman, P. Oliver, G. H.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Orbach, M.
Carmichael, James Horabin, T. L. Paget, R. T.
Champion, A. J. Houghton, Douglas Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Chater, D. Hoy, J. Palmer, A. M. F.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hubbard, T. Pannell, T. C.
Cluse, W. S. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Pargiter, G. A.
Cobb, F. A. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Parker, J.
Cocks, F. S. Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Parkin, B. T.
Collins, V. J. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Cook, T. F. Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool) Paton, J. (Norwich)
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N. W.) Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.) Pearson, A.
Corlett, Dr. J. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Peart, T. F.
Cove, W. G. Jay, D. P. T. Poole, Cecil (Lichfield)
Cullen, Mrs. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Popplewell, E.
Daines, P. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S. E.) Porter, E. (Warrington)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jenkins, R. H. Porter, G. (Leeds)
Davies, Haydn (St Pancras, S. W.) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Price, M. Philips
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Proctor, W. T.
Deer, G. Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Pryde, D. J.
Delargy, H. J. Keenan, W. Ranger, J.
Diamond, J. Kinley, J. Rankin, J.
Dobbie, W. Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D. Reeves, J.
Dodds, N. N. Lavers, S. Reid, T. (Swindon)
Dumpleton, C. W. Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J. Richards, R.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lee, F. (Hulme) Robens, A.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Edwards, John (Blackburn) Leslie, J. R. Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Royle, C.
Evans, John (Ogmore) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Scollan, T.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Logan, D. G. Scott-Elliot, W.
Ewart, R. Lyne, A. W. Segal, Dr. S.
Fairhurst, F. McAdam, W. Sharp, Granville
Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet) West, D. G.
Silkin, Rt. Hon. L. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare) Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Silverman, J. (Erdington) Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Simmons, C. J. Thomas, John R. (Dover) Wigg, George
Skeffington-Lodge, T. C. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Wilkins, W. A.
Skinnard, F. W. Timmons, J. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.) Tolley, L. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Smith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.) Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Snow, J. W. Ungoed-Thomas, L. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Sorensen, R. W. Usborne, Henry Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Vernon, Maj W. F. Willis, E.
Sparks, J. A. Viant, S. P. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Steele, T. Walkden, E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon A.
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst) Woods, G. S.
Stubbs, A. E. Wallace, H. W. (Walthamslow, E.) Yates, V. F.
Swingler, S. Warbey, W. N. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Sylvester, G. O. Watson, W. M.
Symonds, A. L. Webb, M. (Bradford, C.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Wells, P. L. (Faversham) Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Mr. Hannan.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Head, Brig. A. H. Pickthorn, K.
Baldwin, A. E. Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Price-White, D.
Bennett, Sir P. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Birch, Nigel Hollis, M. C. Rayner, Brig. R.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Hope, Lord J. Renton, D.
Bowen, R. Howard, Hon. A. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Bower, N. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Roberts, P. G. (Ecclesall)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Keeling, E. H. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cmdr. J. G. Lambert, Hon. G. Ropner, Col. L.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Sanderson, Sir F.
Bullock, Capt. M. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Savory, Prof. D. L.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Low, A. R. W. Scott, Lord W.
Byers, Frank Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Shephard, S. (Newark)
Challen, C. Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Clarke, Col. R. S. McFarlane, C. S. Smithers, Sir W.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Spearman, A. C. M.
Crowder, Capt. John E. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Darling, Sir W. Y. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Strauss, Henry (English Universities)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Drewe, C. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Studholme, H. G.
Duthie, W. S. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Eccles, D. M. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Touche, G. C.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Marples, A. E. Turton, R. H.
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Vane, W. M. F.
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr, E. L. Medlicott, Brigadier F. Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Mellor, Sir J. Walker-Smith, D.
Fox, Sir G. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Mott-Radclyfle, C. E. Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Galbrailh, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Neven-Spence, Sir B. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Gammans, L. D. Nicholson, G. White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Gates, Maj. E. E. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Williams, C. (Torquay)
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Nutting, Anthony Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Odey, G. W. York, C.
Harden, J. R. E. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Osborne, C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Major Conant and
Mr. Wingfield Digby.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause 15 ordered to stand part of the Bill.