§ Earl Winterton
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that on the small farms of the Weald of Sussex, Surrey and Kent there is a number of owners and occupiers who were formerly agricultural labourers, many of whom are successful farmers; and whether he will consider introducing legislation to make it possible for agricultural labourers, approved by the war agricultural committees as suitable to take farms, to obtain loans for the purpose, repayable over a number of years, from the State?
I do not think legislation is required for the purpose to which my Noble Friend refers. I am satisfied that existing credit facilities, including those available from the county war agricultural executive committees, are ample to meet the needs of new occupiers who are in a position to offer the necessary security. I should add, however, that in my opinion it would be unwise, under present conditions, to encourage persons to take up farming unless they possess at least the necessary minimum capital of their own.