HC Deb 07 July 1955 vol 543 cc1281-2
17. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will appoint an independent arbitrator or tribunal to investigate the claim of the tenant of Holborn Farm, Brilley Kington, to a grant under a water supply scheme and also a marginal production scheme, such investigation to give the tenant an opportunity for stating his case.

Mr. Amory

No, Sir. Grants in aid of approved water supply and marginal production schemes are payable at the discretion of the Minister and a reference to an independent arbitrator or tribunal would be inappropriate.

Mr. Baldwin

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in this case the decision of the Minister was based upon a report by a very minor official of the A.E.C., and that no opportunity was given to the farmer to refute the allegation which was made in the Adjournment Debate that he had produced a receipt which was not valid and that he was trying to get money under false pretences? Should the man not be given an opportunity to prove that the receipt was a just one?

Mr. Amory

I would remind my hon. Friend of what I said, that I have to decide whether or not the grants are in accordance with the Acts. I know of no case which has been more fully considered than this one by both one of the Joint Parliamentary Secretaries and myself. However, if my hon. Friend has any new facts, I shall be glad to reconsider the matter.

Mr. T. Williams

Would it not be the case that the right hon. Gentleman acted upon the recommendation of the county agricultural executive committee?

Mr. Amory

That was, indeed, the starting point.