HC Deb 29 April 1958 vol 587 cc172-3
18. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society was first given a grant out of public funds; how much it has received each year, and what is the total amount of money it has received in this way; what conditions were and are attached to these payments; and how far any of these conditions relate to the place in which the Society's show shall be held each year.

Mr. Maclay

The only grant from public funds to the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society is one given by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland in aid of prizes at the Society's annual show to encourage the breeding of Highland ponies and goats. The grant has been paid since 1913, except in the war years. The annual rate of grant from 1922 to 1939 was £52, and from 1948 to 1957, £70; the aggregate over the whole period since 1913 being £1,996. No condition is attached as regards the location of the show.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is the Secretary of State aware of the expressed intention of changing the usefulness of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society by giving it a permanent showground in, or near, Edinburgh, thereby depriving the other parts of Scotland of the benefits that they have hitherto enjoyed? Will he do something to protect the other parts of Scotland from this threat?

Mr. Maclay

That supplementary question, while related to the original Question, hardly arises from that Question.

Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is no reason whatsoever why the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society should not hold its show wherever it likes in Scotland?