HC Deb 21 November 1962 vol 667 cc1190-1
7. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications for ploughing grant were disallowed for lateness although received before the closing date of the 1961–62 scheme; and what total sum was thereby lost to the applicants.

Mr. Noble

Applications received before the closing date are not disallowed for lateness, but my hon. Friend is no doubt referring to the applications disallowed because notice of ploughing was not given within twenty-one days of completion as required by the Ploughing Grants (Scotland) Scheme 1961. There were 1,111 applications refused on this account and the sum involved was £82,550.

Mr. Brewis

Can my right hon. Friend say what inconvenience is caused to his Department if applications are received before the closing date of the scheme, although not within twenty-one days of the end of ploughing? Can he also say whether the applications which are rejected will be void far all purposes?

Mr. Noble

It is not a question of whether it is inconvenient. The payment of these grants outside the requirements of the scheme as laid down by Parliament is extra-statutory and, therefore, I have no say in it. On the second point, once the grant has been disallowed, it is disallowed for all time.

Mr. Stodart

Is my hon. Friend aware that it these grants are to be considered worth while to farmers, as indeed they are, the least farmers can do is to obey the rules set down?

Mr. Noble

I agree with my hon. Friend and a very large number of farmers did so. It is only 3 per cent. who failed.