§ Dr. Peters
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether it is the policy, or likely to be the long-term policy of the Government, for his Ministry to retain all farms and lands compulsorily taken over by war agricultural executive committees for a period of years or indefinitely, or whether it is proposed now, or at some future early date, to permit good farmers to purchase the same?
Where possession is taken, under Defence Regulation 51, of land which is certified as not being cultivated, or not being cultivated in accordance with the rules of good husbandry, possession may be retained under Section 23 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous War Provision) Act, 1940, for a period not exceeding three years from the end of the war period. It does not follow that possession will be retained for the full period. If the person otherwise entitled to occupation of the land is able and willing to farm the land efficiently, possession may be relinquished earlier by arrangement in individual cases. It is, however, provided by Section 9 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1941, that where a certificate has been given as above, and where it is also certified that the value of the land has been, or will be substantially increased by things which have been done, or which it is intended should be done, on the land, the Minister, while still in possession, may acquire the land and subsequently re-sell it in accordance with Section 10. Each such case will be treated on its individual merits, and the time and manner of sale of any land purchased will be determined, subject to the terms of the Act, in the way most likely to secure to the Crown the benefit of the increase in value of the land due to expenditure by the Crown on its improvement.