HC Deb 06 December 1967 vol 755 c1432
26. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will seek to obtain the repayment of hill farming grants paid in respect of land which is subsequently afforested.

Mr. Buchan

My right hon. Friend has no power to recover hill farming grants just because land is subsequently afforested.

Mr. Brewis

Is not one of the elements in the problem the unprofitability of hill farming, which makes people want to afforestate the land? Will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that he will at any rate try to do something for hill farmers in the new Price Review?

Mr. Buchan

I am not sure of the implication of the word "try". I have been trying hard for the past year, as the hill sheep farmers recognise. As a result, a number of new schemes and proposals have been brought in. The farmers know that as well. The hon. Gentleman will recognise the progress this year as compared with last, when we had real difficulties, but if he says that we still have further to go then, of course, I agree.