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Farm Survey Visits

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 29 April 1954

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5 and 6.

asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether all county agricultural executive committees now inform farmers, prior to visits of inspection, that their farms are to be inspected;

(2) whether all farmers are advised of the results of county agricultural executive committees inspections of their farms and of the category in which they have been placed.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to farm surveys, which are not formal inspections but visits designed to offer the help of the county agricultural executive committee in the improvement of production. It is the general practice of committees to visit farms by arrangement with the occupiers. I have asked committees to convey to the farmer whose farm has been surveyed their views about his farm and, where they continue to grade, to notify the farmer of the grading.

The Minister, of course, will be aware that I brought a case to his attention where this was not done. Will he give an assurance that in every case in every county a farmer will not have to suffer an inspection of his farm without his knowledge either before or after?

The specific case to which the hon. Gentleman refers was before I issued the revised general instructions in February, 1953. However, I should like the House to realise that although no specific instructions have been issued to county agricultural executive committees about notification of farm survey visits county agricultural officers have been told to instruct their officers to give prior notice if they can reasonably do so.