§ 18. Mr. J. J. Robertson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will encourage smallholders and individual market gardeners to modernise their holdings by the introduction of more scientific methods and equipment; and to make available low-interest loans for this purpose, to approved applicants.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
My right hon. Friend is always anxious to encourage the development of scientific methods in the management of smallholdings, but his statutory powers to grant loans for working equipment are limited to new tenants on land settlement estates on State-owned properties.
§ Mr. Robertson
Will my hon. Friend have another look at this problem as many of the smallholders are suffering today because of the unfair competition of large farmers and of imported foreign produce? In view of that, will my hon. Friend see whether anything can be done, as otherwise many of these smallholders will be forced out of business?
§ Mr. Fraser
I do not mind having another look at the suggestion, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that before we can agree to what he wishes, we would require to have further powers.