asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average price of agricultural land in Wales during the six months ended 30th September 1974 and 31st March 1975, or the most recent period for which the information is available.
The average price of all sales of agricultural land in Wales notified to the Inland Revenue during the six months ended 30th September 1974 was £402 an acre. The corresponding figure for the three months ended 31st December 1974 was £338 an acre. Information for the six months ended 31st March 1975 is not yet available.
Does the Minister agree that prices, although showing some fluctuations, are still very high, and disgracefully high for young farmers going into agriculture? Will he give a commitment that the Government will honour their pledge to bring in for Wales legislation similar to that which was enacted for Scotland five or six years ago to protect the tenant farmer who succeeds to the tenancy on the death or retirement of his father?
Land prices are going down—and we hope that that trend will continue—although prices still remain high. The broader question of tenant farmers and their rights is under consideration.
Will my hon. Friend ensure that this agricultural land is retained for agricultural purposes and that the derelict land in South Wales which is being reclaimed will be used for industrial development?
The reclamation of much of our derelict land is for industrial purposes and for housing. That enables us not to encroach on agricultural land.