HC Deb 19 December 1957 vol 580 c600
40. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what date he received representations from the Farmers and Smallholders Association urging the total repeal of the disciplinary provisions of the Agriculture Act, 1947; and what form the representations took.

Mr. Godber

This Association sent a deputation in November, 1952, to my right hon. Friend's predecessor, urging repeal of the power of dispossession and gave written and oral evidence urging total repeal to the Wilson Committee in 1955. On several occasions over the last few years the Association have protested against the use of the powers in Part II of the Act in individual cases.

Mr. Willey

Does the hon. Member now realise that to rely upon representations made in 1952 is a very flimsy pretext for upsetting the whole industry and that the sooner he pays attention to the responsible views of the industry, both farmers and farmworkers, the better? Will he assure the House that the Government will not proceed with the repeal of Part II?

Mr. Godber

If the hon. Gentleman had paid attention to what I said on the last occasion, he would have realised that I made it abundantly clear that we were not resting our case on those representations. We rest our case on sound, practical reasons which we shall be happy to explain to the House in due course.

Mr. T. Williams

Can the hon. Gentleman give the House any idea how many members of the Association, so-called, had previously been dispossessed for bad husbandry?

Mr. Godber

Not without notice.