HC Deb 28 July 1959 vol 610 cc285-6
2. Sir J. Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the future of marginal agricultural production grants which will be available to certain farmers in Scotland after 31st August.

Mr. Maclay

I have had discussions with the Scottish National Farmers' Union on this matter, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Sir J. Duncan

As the present scheme is to end on 31st August, will my right hon. Friend assure us, particularly those who are interested in this in Scotland, that a new scheme or an amended scheme will be announced before the next cropping season?

Mr. Maclay

I hope very much that I shall be able to make a statement before very long. I am anxious to press on with it as quickly as I can.

Mr. T. Fraser

Does the Secretary of State recall that, when the Agriculture (Small Farmers) Act was before Parliament, we were given an assurance that this matter would be discussed with the National Farmers' Union at the time of the Annual Price Review, and we were led to believe, in all parts of the House, that there would be an announcement in March of this year? It is now nearly August.

Mr. Maclay

If the hon. Gentleman studies the record—I do not remember the detail myself—he will find that it was clear that there were further discussions going on with the Scottish Farmers' Union after that.