HC Deb 03 February 1959 vol 599 cc189-90
24. Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that an application for grant under the Agriculture (Improvement of Roads) Act, 1955, recommended by the Roads Committee of Berwickshire County Council, has been turned down by his Department on the ground that the road in question forms an access to one farm only, albeit an important live-stock rearing area; and whether he will reconsider this decision which runs counter to the wording of the Statute.

Mr. Maclay

I am aware of this application, but have been unable to approve it as according to my information the road in question is essentially an individual farm access road. It is not in our view in accordance with the purpose of the 1955 Act to make grants in such cases.

Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

Are we to assume from that reply that, because a livestock rearing area happens to belong to one person only, he is to be excluded from all benefit under the Agriculture (Improvement of Roads) Act, 1955? That was not my impression when I voted for the Bill.

Mr. Maclay

It has been the practice ever since that Act was passed not to consider a single access road as eligible for that particular grant.

Mr. Ross

As a point of interest, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us how many miles of road have been covered under this Act?

Mr. Maclay

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman will have to put that question down.