§ Sir J. Gilmour
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he considers the figures shown by the December Agricultural Census for the number of sheep in Scotland are satisfactory in relation to the policy of expanding home production; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
The provisional results of the December, 1970, census showed small reductions in both breeding ewes and total sheep numbers compared to a year ago, and the indications of a slowing down in the rate of decline are welcome. By increasing the rates of hill sheep subsidy and the level of the guaranteed price for fat sheep in October, 1970, the Government took exceptional action to encourage confidence in the sheep sector. The condition of this and other sectors of the farming industry will be carefully considered during the forthcoming Annual Review.