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Lord Carter: My Lords, I am not sure how one is supposed to look when thinking about dividing the House. I was struck by the modesty shown by the Minister about his department. He agreed that it was not the fount of all wisdom. We all agree with that. But he also said that his officials hardly ever see a tenancy agreement. They issued some guidance notes on sheep dipping, and how many times have they dipped sheep? They take advice from the veterinary service, do they not?

Earl Howe: My Lord, that concerns the Health and Safety Executive, which does know a thing or two about sheep dipping.

Lord Carter: My Lords, the same thing applies: as a department it takes advice. In this case obviously it would take both outside advice and advice from within the department from the land service. So that argument does not run. The noble Earl made an extraordinary statement. I had perhaps a naive view that the officials of government departments are or should be trained to consider matters objectively and advise industry. That is what we are asking the department to do. I feel that this is an abdication of responsibility.

The trouble is that the whole business was started by a former Minister—John Gummer, of blessed memory—who was in full-scale free market mode when this issue was introduced. It takes a long time for a Bill to be drafted and come forward. We are left with it now. We still have the hangover of the complete freedom of contract and an attitude of "leave it all to the market; leave it all to the landlord and tenant and they will sort it out". In fact we have already accepted that. We have not tried to break the fundamental principle of the Bill. We are trying to improve the Bill.

There have been some meetings around the country but it surprises me just how little is known about the Bill and its implications. I see that the noble Lord, Lord Stanley, nods his head. It is the job of the Government to make sure that the industry is aware of what it is taking on. We are going into a whole new scene. Perhaps the Minister will remember that at Second Reading he said that we were going back to the middle of the 19th century. If so, we need some guidance in what to do in that completely different situation.

He referred to the services that will be offered by various institutes and organisations. But those services will be offered anyway. We want a wide range of advice but set within a framework. Because of the importance

23 Jan 1995 : Column 890

of the Bill, its effect on our countryside and all that will be happening there, and the fact that a farm is not just a means of earning a living but also a home—for all those reasons I believe that the Government should be prepared to take on board the responsibility. As I said, it will not have the force of law. We do not ask them to lay regulations or even issue a code of practice. We ask them to take all the advice that is available, put it together, put their own gloss on it and issue it as a guidance which everyone can then see is the essential advice that we all need.

I am afraid that the Minister was not correct. I had not thought of dividing the House until he answered the amendment. I believe that now I should ask the opinion of the House.

4.57 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No.4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 92; Not-Contents, 129.

Division No. 2


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ailesbury, M.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Barnett, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Courtown, E.
David, B.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dubs, L.
Ennals, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Gregson, L.
Grey, E.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L. [Teller.]
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Houghton of Sowerby, L.
Howell, L.
Hughes, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Leigh, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Meston, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Parry, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E.
Seear, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
White, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Wise, L.


Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Arran, E.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Astor, V.
Balfour, E.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Boardman, L.
Borthwick, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleraine, L.
Colnbrook, L.
Colwyn, L.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cranworth, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Downshire, M.
Ellenborough, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Faithfull, B.
Fanshawe of Richmond, L.
Finsberg, L.
Flather, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Gisborough, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hacking, L.
Halsbury, E.
Harlech, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inglewood, L. [Teller.]
Jellicoe, E.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Knollys, V.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Layton, L.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Mancroft, L.
Manton, L.
Marlesford, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newall, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pender, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Pym, L.
Quinton, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Rodger of Earlsferry, L.
Rodney, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Savile, L.
Seccombe, B.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Somerset, D.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Swansea, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

23 Jan 1995 : Column 891

[Amendment No. 5 not moved.]

Clause 4 [Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 not to apply in relation to new tenancies except in special cases]:

23 Jan 1995 : Column 892

5.5 p.m.

Lord Stanley of Alderley moved Amendment No. 6:

Page 3, line 20, after ("granted") insert ("on an agreed succession").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 6 is grouped with Amendment No. 9. I moved identical amendments in Committee, discussed at cols. 1146 to 1150. At that time we all agreed that succession rights should be protected under the 1986 Act rather than by a direction from the agricultural land tribunal. We also agreed that it was better to draw a line under the 1986 Act tenancies and that any new tenancies would be under the 1995 farm business tenancy. There was a difference of opinion as to whether the wording of the Bill achieved that aim and my noble friend Lord Howe said that he would look again at the matter. Having looked at it again I believe that my noble friend will agree that these amendments are necessary to achieve our common objective. I beg to move.

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