HC Deb 25 November 1964 vol 702 cc1252-3
9. Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will define the term, small farmer.

Mr. Peart

The hon. Member will know of the statutory definition of "small farm business" in the small farmer schemes, but the term is normally used with a wider connotation.

Mr. Griffiths

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the comparative size of a farm is as much a matter of soil quality and climate and, above all, the amount of investment in the land in question? Will he take steps to consider these various factors when reviewing the provision of grants to farmers of all kinds?

Mr. Peart

Certainly. I agree with the hon. Gentleman. In view of the great variety of factors, it is very difficult to be precise, but whenever a new arrangement is made, naturally we will look at the definition.

Sir Richard Glyn

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that circumstances in farming and methods of farming have changed very much since the definition of a small farm, which he gave just now, was introduced? Does not he think it is time that this definition was brought more into line with modern conditions, and will he look at this matter again?

Mr. Peart

I shall look into how a definition applies in relation to a particular scheme. Of course, we all agree that, because of the great technical changes in agriculture, the statutory definition may well need to be looked at again here with a view to adaptation.