HC Deb 13 March 1958 vol 584 cc587-8
14. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware of the value of the recently discontinued hill cattle subsidy; and whether he will consider its reintroduction as an alternative to the hill cow subsidy from which many smaller farmers are unable to benefit.

Mr. John Hare

The hill cattle subsidy was introduced in wartime. It was discontinued because it had outlived its original purpose. While some farmers cannot qualify for the hill cow subsidy, upland farmers generally have been more than compensated by this for the loss of the hill cattle subsidy. In the general interest no further action is therefore thought necessary.

Mr. Vane

Will my right hon. Friend reconsider his decision? Whereas it is true that to pay a subsidy towards keeping breeding cattle on a hill farm is better, where that can be done, there are still some small hill farms unable to winter cattle. Would not this subsidy encourage cattle on some hill grazing where there is now none and be of monetary help in quarters where it is badly needed?

Mr. Hare

I have given the matter considerable thought, as I think my hon. Friend realises. I do not hold out much hope that I will change my mind, but I will certainly continue to consider the matter. I am glad that my hon. Friend appreciates what we are now doing.

Mr. H. Hynd

As the Government are in principle opposed to subsidising private industry, will the Minister see that there is a limit to these subsidies?

Hon. Members


Mr. Hare

The hon. Member had better talk to his own leader on that subject.

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