HC Deb 04 April 1979 vol 965 cc877-8W
Mr. Peyton

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list in the Official Report the number of reported new lettings of tenanted land for each year from 1970 to 1978, inclusive.

Mr. John Silkin

New lettings of tenanted land are not reported to the Ministry, but the annual rent inquiry which covers a sample of about 30 per cent. of tenanted land shows that of farms in the sample with a rent change the numbers in England let to new tenants were as shown below:

By tender By agreement Total
1970 72 399 471
1971 55 537 592
1972 51 472 523
1973 43 334 377
1974 53 468 521
1975 49 388 437
1976 46 416 462
1977 46* 392
1978 54 420 474
1. * Figures for England and Wales together.
2. The sample is not random so the total number of new lettings cannot be derived accurately from these figures.

Mr. Lee

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total number of new tenant farmer entrants in the agriculture industry in 1978; and if he is satisfied with the rate of infusion of new blood into the industry.

Mr. Strang

We are seeking information from a sample of farms in our annual rent inquiry but this is not yet available. Lord Northfield's committee is examining the opportunities open to would-be entrants in to the agriculture industry and the committee's report is expected shortly.

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