§ 14. Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now make a statement on measures to be taken to provide more adequate compensation to tenant farmers whose land is subject to compulsory purchase orders.
§ Mr. John Mackie
No, Sir. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to his earlier Question on this subject on 2nd December, 1964.
§ Mr. Walker
The Government have announced that they intend to go in for considerable programmes of new towns and overspill projects, and this will mean a good deal of hardship to tenant farmers. Is it not essential that the Government co-ordinate their plans for housing with their plans for looking after tenant farmers adversely affected by compulsory purchase orders?
§ Mr. Mackie
I agree with the hon. Gentleman, but he must realise that a great deal of discussion has to take place with the National Farmers' Union, the Country Landowners' Association, the 1061 local authorities, the Treasury, and the Ministries responsible for housing and lard. All this takes time. Yesterday, we were accused of too much haste. I do not think that there should be pressure today for too much haste.
§ Mr. Soames
I very well appreciate that a lot of discussions are necessary before a conclusion is reached. Is it the Minister's intention to ensure that tenant farmers have an improved basis of compensation as compared with that which is possible under existing legislation?
§ Mr. Mackie
My right hon. Friend, when he answered some questions in the Press, along with the right hon. Gentleman, made the promise that consideration would be given to making the ex gratia award a statutory one.