§ 26. Mr. H. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Agriculture what have been the financial results in connection with farms belonging to the Crown which are at present under the management of the Crown Lands Commissioners on account of their inability to obtain tenants for these farms?
§ 27. Mr. SERVINGTON SAVERY
asked the Minister of Agriculture what financial loss has been incurred during the years 1933 and 1934 in connection with the Crown farms at Swine and Sunk Island, in East Yorkshire?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)
It is not in the public interest to publish detailed figures as to the financial results of farms in the hands of the Commissioners of Crown Lands. The figures are supplied privately to the Treasury each year for information. In general they show that in respect of the farming year 1934, approximately one-third of all the farms in hand made a profit and that both the number of acres in hand and the net all over loss per acre have been substantially reduced as compared with the farming year 1933.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether that loss has been arrived at after making allowance for rent?
§ Mr. THORNE
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us the reason why it is not in the public interest to publish this information?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
Because, as will be clear to anybody connected with agriculture, it is undesirable to give detailed agricultural information which may very often be of importance to people other than those who benefit by it.
§ Colonel GRETTON
Can the right hon. Gentleman not furnish Parliament with a summarised account, giving the general results of the whole transaction?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
For nearly 40 years we have been working upon an agreement which was come to between the Treasury and the Public Accounts Committee, and I should hesitate to upset that arrangement without a great deal of consideration.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it not within the knowledge of every Member of the House that farmers are granted the privilege of exemption from giving detailed accounts of their results year by year to the Income Tax authorities?