§ 22. Mr. Ridsdale
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to receive the report of the Wise Committee; and whether he will make a statement on the future of county council smallholdings.
§ Mr. Peart
The Wise Committee of Inquiry into statutory smallholdings have still to take oral evidence from a number of important witnesses and until that is completed I understand they will not be in a position to give a date for their final report. But in response to a request from me they have agreed to let me have an advance interim report on county council smallholdings. This will enable them to let me have their views on this aspect at an earlier date next year than would otherwise have been possible. When this is received I shall make a further statement.
§ Mr. Ridsdale
Is the Minister aware that the Budget and the new measures brought about by his Government have added £2 10s. a week to the cost of smallholders who, at the best, have been getting a bare living? Is he aware of the urgency to do something for them because of the difficulties that his Government have brought on them?
§ Mr. Renton
Is the Minister aware that in Huntingdonshire and other counties the demand for smallholdings 1264 greatly exceeds the supply, and will he bear that in mind when considering the Wise Report and see what can be done to encourage smallholding authorities to overcome the difficulty?
§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
If the Minister is unaware of the correctness of the calculations made by my hon. Friend, would not he set up an inquiry himself and let us know the result of the Government's measures?
§ Mr. Ridsdale
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I wish to give notice that I shall endeavour to raise the matter on the Adjournment.