HC Deb 14 March 1962 vol 655 cc1298-9
18. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the assessed rental in 1950 of the farm of Kilfillan on the Department of Agriculture estate at Dunragit; what will be the total annual rents receivable from the smallholders on the said farm as from May term, 1962; and what the latter figure represents as rent per arable acre.

Mr. Maclay

The assessed rental in 1950 of the farm of Kilfillan on Dunragit estate was £410. The total annual rents as from Whitsunday, 1962, for the seven equipped smallholdings formed on Kilfillan will be £1,544 but this figure may be modified as a result of appeals by two of the tenants to the full Scottish Land Court against the rents fixed for their holdings by a division of the Court. The figure of £1,544 would represent a rent of £4 per arable acre inclusive of houses, buildings and other fixed equipment provided by the landlord.

Mr. Brewis

Does my right hon. Friend agree that these smallholdings throughout Scotland form a very important rung in the farming ladder for agricultural workers to become farmers on their own account and should not his Department, therefore, make quite sure that at any rate the rents are not more than the average rents in the district? Would my right hon. Friend also say whether his Department takes into account the average price of milk, Which is now about 2d. a gallon lower than it was eight years ago?

Mr. Maclay

I agree that these smallholdings are a very important rung, but it is of interest that we have had no difficulty in letting the holdings to which my hon. Friend refers. The price of milk cannot be a determining factor in the rental provisions which are based on the rents generally obtained for comparable subjects.