§ 17. Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons have been provided with employment since the inception of the Countryside Improvement Scheme.
§ Mr. Kilfedder
Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that there are sufficient safeguards to ensure that this worthy scheme 1805 is not manipulated to large estate owners simply as a means of improving their own property at the taxpayer's expense? Will he hold a full investigation to find out how many landlords are employing people under this scheme—at only £3 per person per week—who formerly worked for them and continue to do the same work on their estates?
§ Mr. Moyle
I have seen the case that the hon. Gentleman raised with the Department of Agriculture. There is no evidence that the farmer involved made any claim on the scheme as a result of the facts that the hon. Gentleman brought to light. Given that there is a double check, in that the Department of Manpower and the Department of Agriculture are both involved, and that there is an initial inspection and a subsequent procedure for applying, the safeguards are considered adequate by the Department of Agriculture. Had the farmer that he has in mind used the procedure. I am sure that any disqualifying circumstances would have come to light.