§ Sir E. Graham-Little
asked the Minister of Agriculture why Mr. H. B. Turner, of Barnston Hall, near Dunmow, was dispossessed of a farm of 1,000 acres in 1941; whether, as he was then promised that he would be reinstated after the war, this promise will now be carried out, and whether he will inquire into and make a report upon the present condition of the farm after six years' administration under the war agricultural executive committee.
§ Mr. T. Williams
With my predecessor's consent, the Essex War Agricultural Executive Committee took possession of this land in April, 1941. It had been badly under-farmed, and as the occupier, Mr. Turner, had failed to take advantage of the ample opportunity previously afforded him to improve the farming under his management, it was necessary in the interests of food production to determine his occupation and make other arrangements to ensure the restoration of the land to full productivity. Since then the case has been exhaustively reviewed from time to time following representations to my predecessor and myself on Mr. Turner's behalf. I am satisfied that the committee's action was fully justified and that the standard of cultivation has been satisfactory while the land has been in the committee's possession. I am not aware that any promise was given to de-requisition the property at any specific date. Under existing legislation, the committee are entitled to remain in possession until December, 1950, and they are satisfied that it would be detrimental to food production to disturb the present arrangements and relinquish possession to Mr. Turner.