HC Deb 03 July 1968 vol 767 c1475
6. Mr. Stodart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the figures given in Appendix IV of Command Paper No. 3558, showing net incomes on dairy and cropping farms in England and Wales and Scotland, respectively, are calculated on a precisely similar basis.

Mr. Buchan

The accounting procedures are precisely similar, but the systems of farming designated as dairy and cropping differ to some extent because of differing natural conditions in the two countries.

Mr. Stodart

In view of the fact that Scottish farmers are recognised to be the most efficient not only in this island but in the world, can the hon. Gentleman say why the net income of a Scottish cropping farm has been only £7 per acre compared with £13 in England? Are the climatic differences to which he refers the differences in the political climate which have caused the income to drop to one-half since 1964?

Mr. Buchan

With his own wide knowledge of farming, the hon. Gentleman should know the problems involved. Climatic, soil and other conditions are involved here, but certainly not political ones. As it happens, the relative positions of incomes from farming as between England and Scotland are improving in our favour.