HC Deb 09 June 1959 vol 606 cc794-5
18. Mr. Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the total amount paid to Scottish agriculture in grants and subsidies from October, 1951, to the nearest convenient date.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Lord John Hope)

The grants and subsidies paid to Scottish agriculture for the financial years 1951–52 to 1958–59 inclusive totalled approximately £200 million. The food subsidies borne by the Ministry of Food prior to 1954–55 have been excluded.

Mr. Lawson

In view of the very striking differences between the two sets of figures given in reply to this Question and Question No. 17, will the hon. Gentleman take into account the great fuss that has been made about housing subsidies, and the fact that we never hear anything about agricultural subsidies? Will he make it plain to the people that the greatest national assistance has been given to the farmers and not to the ordinary tenants of local authority houses?

Lord John Hope

The hon. Gentleman, as he knows perfectly well, is making an entirely false comparison. He also knows that housing subsidies depend on the number of houses completed, whereas there is no such factor concerned with agricultural subsidies, not even the number of houses completed.

Mr. Lawson

Is it not the case that there are payments of up to 50 per cent. for the building of pig sties and cowsheds? Is this a misrepresentation of the facts?