HC Deb 07 December 1971 vol 827 cc1109-10
12. Mr. John Wells

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the uptake of the new apple grubbing-up grants in the current year.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Judging by the rate of application during the first three months of the new Orchard Grubbing Scheme, application for between 3,000 and 3,500 acres of apple and pear trees may have been received by the end of 1971.

Mr. Wells

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with this rate of uptake, and does he consider that it will have the desired effect in retaining a reasonable price for the fruit from those orchards that are left?

Mr. Stodart

Already, since 1st September, there have been over 1,600 applications and over 1,100 approvals. This is an encouraging start, and if the pace is maintained—and there is no reason to suppose that it will not be—my right hon. Friend's target will be met.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

The Minister mentioned 3,000 to 3,500 acres. Can he say what the cost of that will be and whether it is included in the overall cost to the Government of entry into the Common Market?

Mr. Stodart

The rate of grant is 100 per cent. of the standard grubbing costs. If the hon. Gentleman would like to put down a Question about what that standard rate is, I will reply.

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