§ Mr. Langford-Holt
47, 48 and 49. asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many farmers in Shropshire he expects to qualify for financial assistance under the Agriculture (Small Farmers) Bill; and how many more would qualify if the lower acreage limit were removed while retaining the other conditions laid down in the Bill;
(2) how many farms of between 20 and 100 acres there are in Shropshire; and what percentage of these he estimates will qualify for financial assistance under the Agriculture (Small Farmers) Bill;
(3) what percentage of the farmers farming between 20 and 100 acres in Shropshire will be excluded from the financial benefits of the Agriculture (Small Farmers) Bill due to other conditions laid down in the Bill.
§ Mr. John Hare
No precise information is available about the number of farm businesses in each county, but in June, 1957, 2,931 agricultural holdings in Shropshire were recorded as being 20 acres or over and less than 100 acres of crops and grass and most of these will be separate farm businesses. It may well be that about 1,000 or one-third of these holdings may satisfy the test of standard labour requirements proposed for the Small Farmer Scheme. I cannot say how many former marginal producers in Shropshire who are not eligible for the Small Farmer Scheme will be eligible for the Supplementary Scheme or how many more farmers would qualify if the lower acreage limit were removed.
§ 50. Sir G. Wills
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will clarify the relationship between schemes under the Hill Farming and Livestock Rearing Acts, 1946 to 1956, and the proposed new schemes of assistance for small farmers.
§ Mr. John Hare
It will not be possible to accept an application for assistance under the proposed Small Farmer Scheme or Supplementary Scheme if there is an uncompleted livestock rearing land improvement scheme in respect of land134W included in the farm business for which application is made. But once the livestock rearing land improvement scheme has been completed, the farmer concerned will be in exactly the same position as anyone else as regards eligibility for the new scheme.