HC Deb 16 March 1950 vol 472 c1249
55. Mr. Hugh Fraser

asked the Minister of Agriculture to whom the committee set up to investigate the problems of marginal land is responsible; what are its terms of reference; when was it set up; who are its members; and from what Departments are they drawn.

Mr. T. Williams

No formal committee has been appointed, but in the consideration of proposals for making better use of marginal land my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are being advised by a small working party of officials of the Agricultural Departments, with whom are associated certain distinguished agricultural scientists.

Mr. Fraser

Is it not time, after the speeches that the right hon. Gentleman has made on this subject, and after the proposal by the Government that something should be done, that a proper committee should be set up? Is the Minister further aware that in Scotland Departmental officials said on one occasion that it was romantic nonsense to start these hill-farming schemes, which have proved successful?

Mr. Williams

I am not sure about the Scottish romantic nonsense; it may be a possibility.

Mr. Gerald Williams

Will the Minister give us the official definition of marginal land?

Mr. Williams

I do not think it is within the bounds of human possibility.