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County Committee's Officials, Sussex

Volume 463: debated on Monday 21 March 1949

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the severe criticism by the Lord Chief Justice of the chief cultivation officer and of a farm manager of the East Sussex agricultural committee as to their farming experience and integrity, details of which have been sent to him, he will reinstate farmers dispossessed by that committee; and if he will say on what grounds such appointments were made and what were the salaries paid to these two officials.

No, Sir. Dispossessions are made on the recommendations of the county agricultural executive committee and not of its officials. The chief cultivations officer and the farm manager were appointed on the grounds that they had the farming experience required for the carrying out of their duties. The chief cultivations officer's salary is on a scale £645–£760 and the farm manager was paid £7 per week.

May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary what justification there is for a committee, subject to such comments by the learned judge, to have the power to direct or dispossess farmers?

In the first place, the Committee was not subject to such, or any other, comments by the learned judge. The learned judge was discussing replies made by this officer to questions in the box.