asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that smallholders around Perth are having to pay approximately £6, per acre for second-grade land whilst farming land is obtainable for from 15s. to 30s. a year for good farming land, and that, as a consequence, many smallholders engaged in the poultry industry are finding it impossible to carry on; and whether consideration has been given to the necessity of granting some form of Government assistance to persons engaged in this very important branch of food raising?
I am aware that there are smallholdings in the neighbourhood of Perth with rentals varying from £24 to £34 for five to six acres of land equipped with dwelling house and other buildings. Prior to subdivision the land was let at approximately £2 6s. per acre unequipped with buildings. The difficulties with which the poultry industry have been faced in recent years are not, I think, due to high rentals. As the hon. Member is aware, the Government have announced their intention to introduce legislation in the interests of the industry.