HC Deb 18 January 1940 vol 356 cc224-6
59. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, taking the latest available date, he can now state the number of ploughed-up acres which have qualified for receipt of the Government subsidy in Scotland and England, respectively?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

Applications for the grant of £2 per acre for ploughing up of seven year grassland covering approximately 850,000 acres in England and Wales, and 230,000 acres in Scotland, have been received. Applications continue to be received in substantial numbers. Generally speaking, the grant is not payable until the County War Executive Committee has certified that the lands have been ploughed up and that the other conditions attaching to the grant have been complied with. The county committees are now actively engaged in inspecting the lands in respect of which the grant applications have been made, but it is not yet possible to give the information which my hon. and gallant Friend desires.

Sir T. Moore

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that in the circumstances the subsidy is a sufficient inducement?

Mrs. Tate

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman confident that there is sufficient seed for the acreage which will he ploughed up?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I have given an answer on that point.

Viscountess Astor

Yes, but it is so involved that nobody can understand it.

62. Mr. T. Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many acres of grassland have been ploughed up since the outbreak of war to the latest date for which figures are available?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I regret that I am not in a position to state the area of grassland actually ploughed up since the outbreak of war.

66. Mr. W. Roberts

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the acreage scheduled for ploughing in each of the areas under the control of the county war agricultural executives together with the acreage alloted to each for ploughing?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

As the second set of figures which the hon. Member has in mind represents only the minimum addition to the tillage area to be secured by each committee by the ploughing up of grassland in their county, I do not think it desirable to publish figures at this stage.

Mr. T. Williams

When will the Minister be able to discriminate between scheduled acres and actual acres which has been ploughed up?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

We do not want to put on county committees the job of giving more and more returns.

Mr. Williams

Is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to get quarterly returns?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

We will try to get the information as soon as possible.

Mr. Thorne

Why do you not take steps to make farmers plough up the land?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

There is such a thing as the weather.

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