HC Deb 05 February 1957 vol 564 cc217-8
9. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the exclusion of East Greenland Farm, Castletown, Caithness, from the Hill Cattle Subsidy Scheme if he is aware that the Caithness Branch of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland has unanimously requested that the case should be reopened; and if he will make a statement.

Lord John Hope

My right hon. Friend is aware of representations which have been made in this case. The claim to hill cattle subsidy for East Greenland Farm, Caithness, has been fully investigated on a number of occasions since 1948 and was again reviewed in October last year on representations by my hon. Friend. My right hon. Friend regrets that he cannot accept the farm as qualifying for this subsidy. I might add that the scheme under which these payments are made falls to be renewed this year when the conditions of eligibility will be reviewed.

Sir D. Robertson

Is it not the fact that every farmer in Caithness realises the injustice of this case and that the National Farmers' Union of Scotland is also supporting it? Will the hon. Gentleman have a word with the Secretary of State about the desirability of appointing an advisory committee, because a system whereby the Secretary of State acts as judge and jury and sole decider in a case which is manifestly wrong is not a right system?

Lord John Hope

Ever since this scheme began the Secretary of State has had to make up his mind, after due consideration of evidence carefully prepared and recommended by experts. My right hon. Friend must do what he thinks is right.

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