HC Deb 01 March 1938 vol 332 cc890-1
6. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many organisers are employed for the purpose of advising smallholders in Scotland regarding methods of cultivation, marketing, etc.; and how many visits on the average are made to each holder by the organisers annually?

Mr. Elliot

Thirty-four organisers and 49 instructors on the staff of the agricultural colleges, and five organisers employed by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, are at present available to advise smallholders in Scotland. In addition, holders on the schemes of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland are advised by the Department's 32 land officers. I regret that the records kept do not enable me to say how many visits annually are made to each holder, but every effort is made to meet any application for information or advice.

Mr. Mathers

With regard to the organisers employed by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, for whom the Government are largely responsible, does the right hon. Gentleman think there are sufficient of these organisers to enable a proper service to be given?

Mr. Elliot

I should not like to say offhand, but we do our best to meet all applications for advice.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Must there always be an application from the smallholder before an organiser visits the area?

Mr. Elliot

No, Sir. We do our best to meet any application.

Sir R. W. Smith

Is the right hon. Gentleman calling the special attention of organisers to the serious position of the poultry industry in Scotland, and will he see that no more smallholders are encouraged to go in for poultry fanning until some attention has been given by the Government to the industry?