HC Deb 02 March 1971 vol 812 cc1386-7
17. Mr. Fell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the level of capital investment in the horticultural industry for the latest available 12-month period compared with the previous five 12-month periods.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

The most useful figures I can offer my hon. Friend are those showing the estimated cost of proposals approved for grant under the successive Horticulture Improvement Schemes. I am arranging for these to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Fell

I thank my hon. Friend for those revealing figures. What does he intend to do to help British horticulture, which is in a serious state, if the Government should thrust this nation unwillingly into Europe, thereby crippling much of British horticulture?

Mr. Stodart

I would not for one moment accept the premise that anyone will be thrust unwillingly into Europe. I have already mentioned in reply to a previous Question the discussions which my right hon. Friend has said he is willing to have with the National Farmers' Union on this matter.

Following is the information:

Estimated cost of proposals approved under the United Kingdom Horticulture Improvement Schemes:

1965 4,523,000
1966 6,055,000
1967 10,398,000
1968 13,283,000
1969 14,379,000
1970 14,733,000

Note: The Scheme introduced in 1966 was considerably wider in scope than the previous Scheme.

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