§ Sir E. Graham-Little
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that, in an action brought by Mrs. Lindner against the chairman and secretary of the Surrey A.E.C., who sought to take possession of her property at Aldford, Surrey, the judge declared that he disbelieved the evidence given by the secretary and gave judgment that the notice to take possession was unauthorised; that, nevertheless, the secretary was continued in office and a member of the committee, who was defendant in the action, has since become chairman of the committee; what control is exercised by the Minister over these committees in such cases; who paid the costs of the action; and what was the expenditure incurred.
§ Mr. T. Williams
I am aware of the matters referred to in the first part of the Question. In his Judgment, which was delivered some 4½ years ago, the judge directed that my predecessor's attention should be drawn to certain aspects of the case. This was done, and after careful examination of all the circumstances the attention of all county war agricultural executive committees (which committees act as my agents under Orders and instructions given by me from time to time)282W was drawn to certain aspect of procedure. It was decided that no action was necessary in the case of the secretary of the particular committee concerned who was retained in his office and carried out his duties satisfactorily up to the time of his recent retirement from the committee. It is also correct that the member of the committee who was one of the defendants in the case was subsequently appointed chairman, an appointment amply justified by his subsequent services in that capacity. The expenditure involved by the Department in the action amounted to approximately £870.