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Agricultural Land Commission (Functions)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 1 July 1954

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23.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress, in accord with Government policy, the Agricultural Land Commission is making in selling or letting properties acquired for the purpose of putting them in order for a proper standard of farming.

The functions of the Agricultural Land Commission do not include the buying and selling of land. Except for five properties which are being farmed by the Commission them selves, all the properties placed under their management by me or my predecessor are let either on annual tenancies or on licences.

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the Agricultural Land Commission is now well aware of the Government's policy that, as soon as a property has been put in good order for a high standard of farming, the Commission should let it rather than continue to farm it itself?

Perhaps my hon. Friend means "sell it." The Commission has no power to sell. I am myself looking into that aspect of the matter very carefully.

Has it not always been the case that when the Government have taken over an area of land to restore it to cultivation, after it has been restored to real cultivable possibilities it has been rented at once?