HC Deb 07 November 1960 vol 629 cc632-3
16. Mr. P. Browne

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if, as a result of his visit to the West Country, he is satisfied that no adjustment is necessary in the Small Farmer Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Christopher Soames)

The Small Farmer Scheme is working well, and applications under it have been particularly heavy in the South West. Our advisory services are already fully extended, and I see no need for any adjustment at present.

Mr. Browne

While I am delighted, as is the Minister, that the Devon farmers are making such use of the scheme, may I ask whether he does not think that it would be more equitable if the scheme were based on the type of land farmed rather than, as at present, on purely arbitrary acreage limits?

Mr. Soames

It is not only on acreage limits. It is also on the basis of man-hours worked on the farm. The two are combined, and I think that that is the best arrangement which can be made.