HC Deb 08 July 1952 vol 503 cc1086-7
42. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, since there is a national price for basic slag, why a higher subsidy is payable to farmers in Northern Ireland than in Scotland.

Mr. J. Stuart

The new national price for basic slag, which took effect from 8th June, is for slag delivered at the nearest port or railway station in Great Britain. The purchaser bears the cost of transport from this point to his farm. For basic slag imported in Northern Ireland there is an additional freight charge for transport to Northern Ireland ports. The higher subsidy is designed to equalise so far as possible the cost to farmers in Northern Ireland with the cost to farmers in Great Britain.

Mr. Grimond

Is it not the case, though, that basic slag costs more in the outlying parts of the Highlands and in the outer islands of Orkney and Shetland than it does even in the wildest bogs of Ireland?

Mr. Stuart

Yes, but this addition is really for transport from the port in this country to a Northern Ireland port.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that during the war an arrangement was come to by which the freight on line was made approximately equal to outlying districts; and could he look into the question of whether the Orkney and Shetland and other outlying districts could have the benefit of the subsidy that is given to Northern Ireland?

Mr. Stuart

I see the point, and I shall be glad to look into it.