HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 c20
30. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will state his present estimate of the number of small farmers who will qualify to benefit under the proposed Small Farms Scheme.

Mr. John Hare

I see no reason to amend the estimate of 65,000 for the United Kingdom which was given in paragraph 18 of the White Paper "Assistance for Small Farmers".

Mr. Willey

Has the right hon. Gentleman noticed that everyone who has made any inquiry into this matter is not able to accept the Government's figures? Would it not therefore be better to break these down so that we can see how real they are and to issue figures for the different counties?

Mr. Hare

I know that the hon. Member is doubtful about this, but I should not have given him this answer had I not felt reasonably confident that my original estimate still holds good. Although the scheme started only on 15th January, the number of requests for application forms which we have had so far has been very good indeed.