HC Deb 06 February 1976 vol 904 cc782-3W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of agricultural holdings held on tenancy in Scotland in 1956, 1966 and 1976. respectively.

Mr. William Ross

In 1956 there were 49,000 agricultural units tenanted or mainly tenanted; in 1966, 33,000; and in 1975, the latest figures available, about 28,000. Much of this reduction can be atttributed to changes in the basis of census enumeration: until 1957 farmers were required to return each piece of land separately, but since then, for land holdings run as one unit, only one return has been required.

The following percentage figures representing the proportion of total units in each year which were tenanted or mainly tenanted may be more meaningful:

1956 68 per cent.
1966 59 per cent.
1975 55 per cent.