HC Deb 03 June 1935 vol 302 cc1539-40W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has any information as to the reasons for which small holdings in this country between one acre and 50 acres decreased in number by over 7,000 between 1932 and 1934; and whether he is is satisfied that existing schemes will be sufficient to put a stop to this reduction and cause an annual increase in the number of such holdings in future?


As I explained in the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Sir G. Fox) on 16th May, the holdings between one acre and 50 acres which decreased in number during the period stated included areas of accommodation and other land which would not normally be regarded as agricultural or small holdings. There has been an increase of the total area of statutory small holdings in England and Wales during the period referred to. There has, however, undoubtedly been some decline in the number of small holdings taken as a whole, a main reason for which is no doubt the difficulty of securing a reasonable remuneration to the primary producer. It is the object of our whole agricultural policy to deal with this problem, but I cannot anticipate results.