HC Deb 23 June 1958 vol 590 cc4-5
8. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what conditions govern the grant of financial aid under the Farm Improvement Scheme.

Mr. John Hare

The conditions governing the grant of financial aid under the Farm Improvement Scheme are set out in detail in an explanatory leaflet of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Mr. Jeger

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that there is a case about which I am in correspondence with him at the moment, that of one of my constituents who has been in occupation of a farm now for 20 years and has saved enough to buy the farm in addition to making a livelihood out of it. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a great suspicion that under the terms of this agreement small farmers are being penalised and are not being given the grants for which they imagine they have a right to qualify?

Mr. Hare

I hope that everything will be done to dispel that impression which the hon. Gentleman has just mentioned, because it is certainly not my intention or the intention of those who administer the scheme for me. The hon. Gentleman is quite right, he is in correspondence with me, and I am looking at this case and hope to be able to write to him before too long.

Sir A. Baldwin

Will my right hon. Friend give this matter a little further consideration? Is he aware that small farmers are being penalised and that the size of the farm is being taken into account instead of the ability of the man on the farm? Is he aware that many of us feel that some small farmers are being penalised unjustly?

Mr. Hare

I always listen with close attention to what my hon. Friend says, but he must realise that under the Act improvements must be for the benefit of agricultural land.