HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 cc15-6
24. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on the movement of farm rents since the passing of the Agriculture Act, 1958.

Mr. John Hare

The movement cannot be assessed over so short a period as six months.

Mr. Hayman

Will the Minister take into account the fact that where two parties failed to agree upon an application by the owner for a 30 per cent. rent increase the arbitrator appointed by his Department awarded a 50 per cent. increase? Can we take it that that represents the policy of the Government?

Mr. Hare

It is not fair to draw any comparison here. As the House realises, I have no information about arbitrators appointed by agreement, but the arbitrators appointed by me have made only two awards under the 1958 Act. One cannot generalise from such small numbers.

Mr. Willey

The right hon. Gentleman will be as aware as we are that rents are rising? Will he institute an inquiry and a survey in order to keep us informed of the extent to which rents do rise?

Mr. Hare

I shall certainly give the House all the information available to me, but I should have thought that the best thing to do would be to continue the present arrangements, which will yield figures comparable with those for previous years.

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