§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Earl Carrington.)
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
Before your Lordships go into Committee on this Bill I have just one word to say. I do not see any Amendment on the Paper dealing with the question to which I wish to refer, and possibly it is not one which your Lordships would think it wise to deal with by way of Amendment to the Bill. It has reference to a statement which was made, and which gave great satisfaction to myself and to many who are, like myself, interested in the prosperity of agriculture, by the noble Earl in charge of the Bill at the close of the proceedings on the Second Reading. I asked the noble Earl on that occasion whether he could give us an assurance that His Majesty's Government intended to make provision, in accordance with the undertaking given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the other House, that a quarter of a million, or one half of the Development Fund, would be assigned to the purposes of agriculture. Those purposes, as your Lordships are aware, are more precisely described in paragraph (a) of Clause 1 of the Bill which is now under the consideration of your Lordships' House. I may say that representations have been made to the Government by the most influential associations in the country interested in agriculture, such as the Lincolnshire Farmers Union, the Land Agents Society, the Surveyors Institution, the Central Chamber of Agriculture, the Farmers Club, the Agricultural Organisation Society, the Dairy Farmers Association, the Fruit Growers Association, the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, the Rothamstead Experimental Station, the Agricultural College at Wye, the Horticultural College at Swansea, and the colleges at Cambridge and Newcastle, all earnestly petitioning before the Bill passes into law that your Lordships should see that some provision is inserted in it which will carry out the pledges we now understand His Majesty's Government have given.
My Lords, before the Motion is agreed to I would like to say a word as to the future course of this Bill. I understood the Leader of the House to say that it is proposed to take the Report 201 and the Third Reading of the Bill early next week. That appears to indicate that the Bill is not intended to go to the Standing Committee. There seem to be a great many Amendments on the Paper, and that being the case I hope your Lordships will consider whether it would not be possible to postpone the later stages of the Bill a little longer in order to give more time for consideration.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1: