HC Deb 08 July 1958 vol 591 c185
25. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many acres of land in Scotland have been reclaimed for agricultural purposes during each of the last three years.

Mr. Maclay

During the last three years the acreage of land reclaimed for agricultural purposes with assistance of reclamation grants from my Department amounted in 1955–56 to 2,270 acres; in 1956–57 to 2,435 acres; and in 1957–58 to 3,052 acres.

Mr. Willis

In view of these figures, can the right hon. Gentleman say what he is doing to increase the acreage?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member will notice from the figures that the acreage is increasing, if very slightly.

Mr. T. Fraser

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that an officer of the Department, addressing the Scottish Peat and Land Development Association in Edinburgh, said that in the West of Scotland alone there were a million acres crying out for reclamation? What is the right hon. Gentleman doing to take advantage of the advice given to him by the Department?

Mr. Maclay

As the hon. Member knows, there are difficulties. He knows as well as I do that questions of priority and economics are involved.