§ 20. Mr. John MacLeod
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in view of the official announcement in May last with regard to arrangements made by him under Section 77 of the Agriculture (Scotland) Act, 1948, for providing assistance by way of grants towards the erection and improvement of dwelling-houses and other buildings for landholders and cottars in the Highlands and Islands, he will state the number of applications for grants which have been received; the number of grants which have been approved; and the number of cases in which the work of rebuilding and improvement is now in progress.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
The number of applications received is 1,323, of which 107 have so far been approved. I regret that information is not available as to the number of cases in which work is in progress.
§ Mr. MacLeod
Will the hon. Gentleman say why there is such delay in dealing with these applications?
§ Mr. Fraser
Consideration of these applications could only begin in the autumn months, the weather was not too congenial, the days were short and there 1744 was a shortage of technical officers. We have increased the number of technical officers by six, and we hope that in the longer days immediately ahead, there will be a quickening improvement.