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Volume 245: debated on Monday 24 November 1930

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asked the Minister of Agriculture if he can give figures showing the principal reasons assigned by men who have given up smallholdings since 1920?

I regret I have no detailed information giving the particulars desired by the hon. Member.

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman find out what proportion of the figures of failures and of people who gave up, which he gave last week, was due to economic or and what proportion to other reasons? Would it not be a simple question?

It would be a simple question, but it would mean going into the details of individual cases for a large number of years, and it would be difficult to ascertain.

If we are to spend vast sums of money on developing these holdings, surely it would be right to know why some have not succeeded—[Interruption.]


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that Mr. A. F. Carnell, an ex-service man, of Clacton-on-Sea, having occupied a smallholding for seven years and secured fourth prize in all Essex in the smallholders' competition, has made application to be allowed to purchase his holding, and that on the recommendation of the Smallholdings and Allotments Subcommittee of the Essex County Council his application has been refused by the Ministry of Agriculture on the ground that such a purchase would be contrary to good estate management; and whether he will take steps to see that this decision is immediately reversed?

I understand that the facts are not quite as stated in the question. The Essex County Council have applied for my consent to their refusal of Mr. Carnell's application to purchase his holding. The matter is still before me, and I will cause full inquiry to be made and will consider all the relevant facts before coming to decision.

Will the right hon. Gentleman understand that Mr. Carnell considers that a ruling has been given by the Ministry of Agriculture that he is not to be allowed to purchase this farm, and will he have official notice given to him that such is not the case?

I think the statement I have made will show that Mr. Carnell is mistaken.