HC Deb 14 December 1961 vol 651 c609
6. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what authority he is withdrawing the Hill Cow Subsidy from eighty-one farmers in Cornwall who were receiving the subsidy in 1960–61; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames

This subsidy is being withdrawn because the land on which these farmers keep their cows can no longer be regarded as hill land as defined in the Hill Cattle (Breeding Herds) (England and Wales) Scheme, 1953.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is tremendous resentment against his decision to withdraw this subsidy? Does he not agree that year by year to change the policy towards agriculture in the difficult circumstances surrounding farming is not in the best interests of agriculture, or of the nation's economy?

Mr. Soames

I am aware that this decision is regretted by those concerned, but when I was advised that the land in question did not fall within the meaning of the Act, I had no alternative to withdrawing the subsidy.