§ Major McCallum
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he can now say what special financial assistance is to 200W be made available to agricultural producers in the islands of Scotland.
§ Mr. Snadden
I am now able to say that, on the basis of returns to producers during the current financial year, special assistance will be made available to the island producers, in respect of that period, up to a maximum of £25,000. Having regard to all the circumstances, including particularly the emphasis placed by the Taylor Commission on the need to relate schemes of assistance to land improvement in these areas, I propose to disburse this special assistance by means of a two-part scheme which, while ensuring that most island producers will be eligible, will have land improvement as its general purpose. The scheme will comprise (i) direct assistance towards the purchase of lime and phosphatic fertilisers by island producers supplementary to that already available to producers generally under the existing lime and fertiliser schemes; and (ii) additional grants through the M.A.P. Scheme for land reclamation, reseeding and regeneration of grassland in the islands. Full details of the scheme will be issued as soon as possible.