§ 24. Sir H. Studholme
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will seek to extend to marginal farms, which, owing to their nature and locality, do not qualify for hill cow subsidy and cannot grow crops for sale, an extended type of farm improvement scheme, coupled with a subsidy for suckling herds, in order to help them play their part in the required expansion of Great Britain's national beef production.
§ 32. Mr. Jopling
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the increasing economic hardship to farmers on farms which are close to hill areas, as they do not qualify for hill subsidies; and if he will take steps to improve these conditions.
§ Sir H. Studholme
Does not the Minister agree that there would be considerable advantage in such a policy as I have suggested in that the erosion of the guaranteed milk price would be reduced?
§ Mr. Jopling
While understanding that the Minister cannot go far on this matter, may I ask whether he would agree that this group of farmers, who are just below the level of the hill subsidy, are finding things most difficult in the economic circumstances of the industry at the moment?
§ Mr. Peter Mills
Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that these are among the hardest hit farming areas in the country and that it is from these areas that he could obtain the necessary beef stores he wants?