HC Deb 16 December 1958 vol 597 cc189-90W
114. Mr. N. McLean

asked the Secreof State for Scotland approximately what number of farms there are in Inverness- shire which at present draw Marginal Agricultural Production grants and will be eligible for grants under the Agriculture (Small Farmers) Bill and the supplementary scheme, respectively; and approximately how many will be left out.

Mr. Maclay

In 1957, the last complete year for which figures are available, Marginal Agricultural Production grants were paid in respect of 783 farms in Inverness-shire. I regret that at the moment I cannot give any reliable estimate of the number of farms which will qualify for assistance under the new proposals.

116. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the effect on the economy of Caithness and Sutherland of the reduction in farmers' net income of£121,000 per annum by the withdrawal of marginal grants; if he is aware of the views of the farmers that it will lead to more unemployment in an area which has now an unemployment rate of about 11 per cent., and to further depopulation; and what steps he is taking to obviate this effect.

Mr. Maclay

The withdrawal of Marginal Agricultural Production Grants has to be set against the introduction of the proposed Small Farmers Scheme and the Supplementary (Marginal) Scheme. Bearing this in mind and taking into account the present state of the beef and sheep industries, and the other subsidies which will still be available, I see no reason to fear that the withdrawal will have the effect suggested.

Mr. N. McLean

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what other subsidies and grants will be available in the future for hill and marginal farms at present receiving grants under Marginal Agricultural Production schemes.

Mr. Maclay

Many hill and upland marginal farms will qualify for assistance under the proposed Small Farmer and Supplementary (Marginal) Schemes. Assistance will still be available for improvement schemes under the Hill Farming and Livestock Rearing Acts, and under the Hill Cattle Subsidy and, in any year when payable, the Hill Sheep Subsidy. All these are additional to the general production grants and subsidies for which they can qualify such as:—

  • Calf Subsidy.
  • Ploughing Grant.
  • Lime and Fertiliser Subsidies.
  • Land Drainage Grants.
  • Water Supply Grant.
  • Grants for Bracken Destruction.
  • Silo Subsidy.
  • Farm Improvement Grants.
  • Attested Herds Bonus.