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Agrarian Reform (Draft Ordinance)

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many farmers will be partially expropriated according to the draft ordinance for agrarian reform circulated as an appendix to C.C.G. letter ZAC/ D(47)37 of 4th June, 1947; which German authorities or interests have been consulted; and whether any objections have been lodged against the adverse effect on food and timber production which it will cause.

It is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 farmers in the British zone would be expropriated on the basis of the provision of the draft ordinance referred to in the question. The Zonal Advisory Council in the British zone has been consulted. The reply to the last part of the Question is that an adverse effect is not anticipated and no objections have been received.

Does the hon. Gentleman really expect the House to believe that smallholdings on this poor land will produce the same result as on bigger farms? Also, has he considered how to maintain timber production and supplies if the forestry areas are cut down in this drastic manner?

Yes, Sir, certainly these things have been very carefully considered, but there are other factors, such as more intensive cultivation. Taking the thing as a whole, we do not expect a fall in production.

What agriculturists have been consulted apart from the Zonal Advisory Council?

When the matter was first referred to the Zonal Advisory Council, the Council contained representatives of farmers, trade unionists and so on. The present Zonal Advisory Council consists of representatives of the political parties but they are free, and are indeed urged, to consult such outside interests.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make available to Members copies of the Draft Ordinance of Agrarian Reform for the British zone of Germany.

Are we to be told on which date the Draft became available and whether the making of it available to Members of Parliament was already decided, or was it not until the Question was put on the Paper?