HC Deb 10 June 1941 vol 372 cc21-2
35. Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction among hill sheep farmers in Scotland at the recently-fixed prices of black-faced wool; and whether he can hold out any hope that something will be done during the course of the season to safeguard Scottish hill sheep farmers against the ruin which faces them under present conditions?

Mr. Johnston

I have not received any representations from Scottish hill sheep farmers about the price of black-faced wool since the increased prices for the 1941 clip were announced. As regards the second part of the Question I fully share the hon. and gallant Member's anxiety about the hill sheep farming position and I would repeat the assurances given on behalf of the Government when the 1941 prices were recently announced that if it should prove necessary in the light of the experiences of the current season the Government would be prepared to arrange special measures of assistance.

Mr. Robertson

Is it not a fact that the mortality among hill sheep during the late spring has been very severe, as much as 50 to 60 per cent. in the higher parts of Scotland; is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman's Department has recently made a survey of balance sheets revealing the bankruptcy of the hill sheep industry, and is it any good going on and leaving these men in their present penury?

Mr. Johnston

Yes, Sir, in some districts the situation is most alarming, and I have indicated appreciation of that fact in my answer.