HC Deb 05 March 1936 vol 309 cc1552-3

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the undesirability of treating English and Scottish agriculture separately, he will consider merging the Ministry of Agriculture with the Scottish Department of Agriculture, so that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries may be responsible for administration in the United Kingdom as a whole?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

No, Sir. A separate Agricultural Department for Scotland was set up under Statute in 1912, and since that date it has carried on its work with success. Moreover, the many diversities between English and Scottish agriculture, the separate system of land laws in the two countries, and the special problem of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland make it inexpedient, in my opinion, to adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a widespread feeling among Scottish agriculturists at the moment that they are not receiving fair treatment, or as much money as their English compatriots; and will be look into the question from this aspect?


Yes, I have gathered something of the kind from the nature of a question that was recently asked.


Does my right hon. Friend recognise the overwhelming importance in English agricultural policy of all those parts of the United Kingdom which have separate agricultural departments?