HC Deb 21 November 1950 vol 481 cc179-81
25. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the need for increased home food production and for the earning of foreign currency, he will consider the introduction of legislation for the development of the resources of the Highlands

Mr. McNeil

The amounts paid in subsidies under the Calf Rearing (Scotland) Scheme are as follows: in 1948–49, £426,037; in 1949–50, £1,564,280 and in 1950–51, up to 13th November, £604,262. The estimate for the whole of the 1950–51 financial year is £1,100,000.

31. Captain Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications for calf subsidy in respect of calves in Scotland were received in 1949 and 1950, respectively; how many were successful; and how many applications were refused on the grounds of quality.

Mr. McNeil

Since the information for which the hon. and gallant Member asks involves a table of figures. I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Captain Duncan

Do those figures prove what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture said the other day, that there has been improvement in quality?

Mr. McNeil

I can only answer for my own Department, but it will be seen that the rejections are of a very minor kind.

Following is the information:

The following table shows respectively the numbers of calves certified and rejected for each financial year since 1st September, 1948, when the Scheme began to operate:

of Scotland on a scale commensurate with the present Colonial Development Bill.

Mr. McNeil

The programme of Highland Development which was presented to Parliament on 30th June, already includes comprehensive measures to achieve the objects which the noble Lord has in view.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is bearing in mind that the Highlands need, for their urgent requirements, millions of pounds spent on road construction and maintenance? Furthermore, would he agree that the £20 million would have given a better return if spent on the Highlands than on the West African Food Corporation?

Mr. McNeil

If the hon. Member had made a study of the proposals for the Highlands he would find that the figure he has just mentioned is doubled.