20 NOVEMBER 1920, Page 3

Mr. Lloyd George felt it necessary on Monday to defend

the Agricultural Bill in Committee. Colonel Spender Clay had moved to omit the debatable section empowering the Board of Agriculture to take action if it thought that a farmer was not making the best use of his land for producing food. The Prime Minister, while admitting that State interference with industry was bad, urged that, in return for the guarantee of fair prices to the fanner,- the State must have power to spur the laggards to increased efforts. Ile feared that any attempt to secure increased cultivation by voluntary means would break down. He laid great stress on the importance of agriculture, and reminded the House that Germany and Denmark made better use of their less fertile soils than we did. The section was Warmly criticized, butin the end Colonel Spender Clay's proposal to omit it was defeated by 155 votes to 81. Much will depend on the wayin which the Board exercises these formidable powers.