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Agricultural Tenancies

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 20 February 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will introduce legislation extending to England and Wales the provisions of Section 18 of the Agriculture (Micellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 in respect of near relatives of farmers wishing to take over agricultural tenancies.

I cannot as yet add to the reply given on 22nd November to the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley.)—[Vol. 881, col. 570.]

As the hon. Gentleman has had time to think since November, will he press for the extension of what the previous Labour Government did in Scotland and give to farmers' sons in England the right, by law, which they are given on the best estates in Scotland? Experience in Scotland does not suggest that the fears of those who opposed the change were justified.

I agree with the hon. Gentleman's observation about our experience of the legislation in Scotland. I assure him that the Government are giving serious consideration to making a change in the law in England and Wales. I am sure he will recognise that this will be a fairly important development in the context of the legislation, and we shall therefore have to consult all the other interests.