HC Deb 27 January 1944 vol 396 cc871-2W
Mr. Granville

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will state his intention with regard to the continuation of the cultivation of agriculural land after the war which has been taken over by his Ministry through the county war agricultural committees for the purposes of war food production.

Mr. Hudson

In the large majority of cases the land of which possession was taken was not being cultivated at all, or was not being cultivated according to the rules of good husbandry. Under Section 23 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous War Provisions) Act, 1940, the Minister or the County War Agricultural Committee are empowered to continue in possession of land for any period not exceedingly three years from the end of the war period, i.e. three years from the expiration of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939.

In deciding the period of any contract of occupation regard has been had to the provisions of the Act of 1940 in order to afford the farmer concerned security of tenure for a reasonable period, bearing in mind the impoverished condition of the land. As regards land which has not been let on a contract of occupation and is being farmed by an Executive Committee, the period during which possession will be retained will depend on the circumstances of each case, with particular regard to the recoupment of expenditure incurred on bringing the land into a proper state of cultivation.