HC Deb 31 January 1973 vol 849 c1344
8. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will seek powers to extend the grants under the Farm Improvement Scheme to fish farmers.

The Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture, Scottish Office (Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith)

I do not consider that agricultural grants schemes are appropriate for this purpose, but I shall keep under review the needs of fish farming.

Mr. Brewis

In view of the disappointing reply, will my hon. Friend say whether discretionary payments for such a purpose can be made under any other legislation, such as the Industry Act?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Yes. I can reassure my hon. Friend on that point because fish farming can be considered for selective assistance under Part II of the Industry Act.

Mr. Strang

Is the Minister aware that there is a great deal of concern in Scotland about the suggestion that head-age payments will be replaced by grants related to the improvement of marginal or hill farms? Will he confirm that such plans do not exist?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am not aware of fish farming being eligible at the moment for headage payments.

Forward to