HC Deb 23 March 1971 vol 814 cc228-9
7. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the latest figure for the area of glasshouse crops and how this compares with the position in 1960 and 1965.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Would my hon. Friend say whether they have increased? If they have, would he not agree, therefore, that there is a fair profitability—there must be if they have increased—in these particular crops? Would he also not agree that to ensure profitability, as they are not covered by the Price Review, special arrangements will have to be made in the near future?

Mr. Stodart

It may help my hon. Friend if I tell him that the figures for 1970 are 240 acres higher than in 1960, but in 1960 figures did not include 230 acres on holdings of under one acre; therefore, the position has been pretty static. A great deal of help has been given in that £37 million of investment in glass has been grant-aided since 1966.

Mr. Dalyell

What are the Government saying to the Horticultural Committee of the Scottish National Farmers' Union, which is concerned about dumping, especially of cucumbers and tomatoes?

Mr. Stodart

That is more a question for my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State at the Scottish Office.

Following is the information:

Acreage of crops grown in glasshouses in England and Wales (July Censuses)
1970 3,759
1965 3,342
1960 3,516


(1) This information relates to holdings with not less than 1,000 square feet of glass used for commercial production.

(2) The figure for 1970 includes an estimated 230 acres of crops grown in glasshouses on holdings of one acre or less of agricultural land, returns from which were not collected in 1960 and 1965.