HC Deb 05 December 1950 vol 482 cc183-4
22. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he intends to take to improve the use of crofting land.

Mr. McNeil

The hon. Member, I know, is no doubt aware of the various forms of assistance which are available to crofters. I know, too, that there are difficulties in the way of the improvement of crofting lands which cannot be met by financial means alone. If the hon. Member has any suggestions to make as to new methods of approach to overcome these difficulties, I shall be very happy to consider them.

Mr. Grimond

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his attitude to this matter but, in view of the demand for larger crofts and new crofts in some places, will he also look at some of the recommendations made by various committees in recent years and see whether any of them can be implemented?

Mr. McNeil

I have great sympathy with the point made by the hon. Gentleman and I have been worrying about it. There are recommendations coming from other organisations currently, and I shall hope to deal with them.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that full use is not being made of certain crofts and that some are being used only for summer residences? Will he also bear in mind that a reduction in transport costs and the provision of better roads would do more than anything else to help?

Mr. McNeil

We have discussed the second point. As far as the first point is concerned, I am very well aware of the position and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will use his influence to deal with any under-employment and with misapplication of property, even when the misapplication is by his constituents.