§ 71. Mr. Mathers
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many smallholdings are in existence in Scotland; how many groups of holdings exist; and whether he has under consideration schemes of co-operative marketing of holders' produce to assist in improving their economic position?
§ Mr. Elliot
The last published agricultural returns indicate that there were 49,147 agricultural holdings in Scotland exceeding one acre but not exceeding 50 acres. This figure includes 4,389 smallholdings formed by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland on 524 schemes or groups of holdings. With reference to the last part of the question, the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society is assisted from State funds for the purpose of encouraging co-operation in the agricultural industry in Scotland, and the services of their organisers are readily available to any group of smallholders who desire to combine in the buying or selling of produce.
§ Mr. Mathers
May we ask the right hon. Gentleman to give his well-known active consideration to the furthering of schemes of this kind, because if they can be serviceable to groups of unemployed men transferred to holdings they can be equally serviceable to those who are more definitely established in holdings?