Agriculture Act 1937

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1937 c. 70


Agriculture Act, 1937

(1 Edw. 8 & 1 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 70.

An Act to assist farmers to increase the fertility of their land; to provide for securing farmers against any substantial fall in the price of oats and barley, and to raise the limit of the quantity of wheat in respect of which deficiency payments under the Wheat Act, 1932, may be made at the full rate; to make further grants for land drainage; to promote the eradication of diseases of animals and poultry, and with that object to establish a national service of veterinary inspectors; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[30th July 1937]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Lime and Basic Slag.

Part I.

Lime and Basic Slag.

S-1 Exchequer contributions towards purchases oflime and basic slag.

1 Exchequer contributions towards purchases oflime and basic slag.

(1) The Ministers may, in accordance with a scheme (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Land Fertility Scheme’) made by them with the approval of the Treasury, make contributions out of moneys provided by Parliament towards the cost incurred by any occupier of agricultural land in the United Kingdom in acquiring and transporting any quantity, not being less than two tons, of lime or basic slag for the purpose of adding it to that land in order to improve the fertility of the soil:

Provided that no such contribution shall exceed an amount calculated in accordance with the provisions of the scheme to represent as nearly as may be—

(a ) in the case of lime, one half;

(b ) in the case of basic slag, one quarter;

of the cost so incurred by the occupier.

(2) The Land Fertility Scheme may contain such provisions as the Ministers and the Treasury consider expedient for the purpose of promoting economy and efficiency in the acquisition, transport and use of the lime and basic slag in respect of which contributions are payable under this section and in the administration of the scheme.

(3) Contributions shall not be made under this section towards any cost incurred by an occupier of agricultural land after the prescribed date, which subject as hereinafter provided shall be the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and forty:

Provided that the prescribed date may be postponed for not more than two successive periods of one year each by orders made by the Ministers with the consent of the Treasury and confirmed by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-2 Land Fertility Committee.

2 Land Fertility Committee.

(1) The Ministers shall appoint a Committee to be called the Land Fertility Committee consisting of a chairman and not more than four other members, and it shall be the duty of the Committee to exercise such functions in the administration of the Land Fertility Scheme as may be assigned to them by the scheme and to advise the Ministers upon any matters relating to the scheme.

(2) The Ministers may appoint a secretary to the Committee and the Committee may appoint such other officers and such servants and may employ such agents as the Ministers may with the approval of the Treasury determine; and the Ministers may, out of moneys provided by Parliament, pay such expenses of the Committee (including remuneration and allowances, to the members, officers, servants and agents of the Committee) as the Ministers may with the approval of the Treasury determine.

S-3 Supplementary provisions as to contents of theLand Fertility Scheme.

3 Supplementary provisions as to contents of theLand Fertility Scheme.

(1) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act as to the contents of the Land Fertility Scheme, the scheme may—

(a ) prohibit the payment of contributions in respect of lime or basic slag purchased from any person other than a supplier of lime or basic slag approved by such authority and in accordance with such procedure as may be provided by the scheme;

(b ) prescribe the conditions subject to which persons may become or cease to be approved suppliers, including conditions as to the prices to be charged for the lime and basic slag purchased from them, and conditions as to the furnishing of information and the production of accounts, books and other documents;

(c ) make provision permitting any quantity of lime which an occupier of agricultural land has himself produced or rendered suitable for the purpose of adding it to his land in order to improve the fertility of the soil to be deemed to have been acquired by him, and for enabling the cost which is to be taken for the purposes of the scheme to have been incurred by him in acquiring it to be computed by reference to standard scales or otherwise in such manner as may be provided by the scheme;

(d ) make provision for enabling the cost which is to be taken for the purposes of the scheme to have been incurred by any occupier of agricultural land in transporting any quantity of lime or basic slag to be computed by reference to standard scales or otherwise in such manner as may be provided by the scheme;

(e ) make provision for enabling associations of farmers, allotment holders, or smallholders, or other similar associations, which purchase lime or basic slag in bulk for redistribution to their members, to be treated in such cases as may be provided by the scheme as if they were the occupiers of agricultural land;

(f ) prohibit the payment of contributions in respect of lime or basic slag produced outside the United Kingdom;

(g ) define the kinds or descriptions of lime and basic slag in respect of which contributions may be paid;

(h ) provide for the making of arrangements for promoting research, investigation and instruction as to the use of lime and of basic slag as a means of promoting the fertility of the soil, and for the financing of such arrangements by means of sums to be collected from approved suppliers who are producers of lime or basic slag and from persons receiving contributions under this Part of this Act, respectively, not exceeding twopence for every ton of lime or basic slag in respect of which such a contribution is paid;

(i ) make different provisions in relation to different kinds, descriptions and quantities of lime and of basic slag.

(2) The Land Fertility Scheme and any subsequent scheme amending that scheme shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after it has been approved by the Treasury, and if either House of Parliament, within the next twenty-eight days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, resolves that the scheme be annulled, the scheme shall thereupon cease to have effect, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder, or to the making of any new scheme.

S-4 Power of recovery in the event of excessive price.

4 Power of recovery in the event of excessive price.

4. If the price charged to, and received from, an occupier of agricultural land by an approved supplier for lime or basic slag in respect of which a contribution is payable under the Land Fertility Scheme exceeds the price permitted by the conditions subject to which the supplier was approved in accordance with the provisions of the scheme, the amount of the excess shall be recoverable by the occupier from the supplier summarily as a civil debt.

S-5 Exclusion of contributions in assessing tenant right.

5 Exclusion of contributions in assessing tenant right.

5. In assessing the amount of any compensation payable to a tenant of agricultural land, whether under the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1923, or the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Acts, 1923 and 1931, or under custom or agreement, by reason of the improvement of the land by the addition thereto of lime or basic slag in respect of which a contribution has been made under this Part of this Act, the contribution shall be taken into account as if it had been a benefit allowed to the tenant in consideration of his executing the improvement, and the compensation shall be reduced accordingly.

II Oats, Barley and Wheat.

Part II.

Oats, Barley and Wheat.

S-6 Subsidy payments in respect of land under oats or barley.

6 Subsidy payments in respect of land under oats or barley.

(1) If, in the case of the year nineteen hundred and thirty-seven or any of the following four years, the United Kingdom price per hundredweight of home-grown oats harvested in that year falls short of eight shillings by fivepence or more, then, subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, the appropriate Minister may, out of moneys provided by Parliament, make to the person who, at the beginning of the fourth day of June in that year, was the occupier of any farm in the United Kingdom comprising land then under oats or land then under barley, a payment (hereafter in this Act referred to as a ‘subsidy payment’) at the rate of an amount equal to six times the difference between the said price and eight shillings, or at the rate of one pound, (whichever rate is the less) for each acre of that land which at the beginning of the said day was under oats or under barley, as the case may be:

Provided that the appropriate Minister shall not be authorised to make any subsidy payment in relation to any farm by reason of any land which at any particular time was comprised in that farm having been then under oats or under barley, if the total area of the land then comprised in that farm which was then under oats or under barley, as the case may be, was less than one acre, and where the said total area was not an exact number of acres, the odd fraction of an acre shall be disregarded.

(2) If the qualifying acreage of land under oats or under barley in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-eight or any of the following three years exceeds the standard acreage, the rate at which any subsidy...

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