asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many sheep have been put on to that part of the deer forest, the name of which has been communicated to him, which was taken over by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland last summer; and what losses have occurred to date?
1,720 sheep were purchased for the forest referred to, 1,325 being put straight on to the forest and 395 sent to winter on a farm in the district. The known deaths to date are 39 on the forest and eight on the farm. The true figure of losses will not be known until after the clipping next July. The sheep, as a whole, have done very well, and the position is regarded as very satisfactory.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that I have reliable information from the locality which places the mortality at somewhere in the neighbourhood of 400 on the forest? Does he not think it would have been more reasonable to begin by stocking up in a small way and so finding what types of lambs are suitable for the land?
I do not know what my hon. and gallant Friend means by "reliable information from the locality." All I can say is that the particulars supplied to me show that the known deaths are 39 on the forest, and eight on the farm.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in cases where sheep fencing is erected on deer-forest ground requisitioned by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, the owner is expected to pay for this fencing when the period of the requisitioning comes to an end?
The owner's liability under Section 23 (5) of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous War Provisions) Act, 1940, when possession of the land is given up, will be to pay a sum equal to so much of the value of the land as is attributable to anything done on the land by the Government for the purpose of enabling it to be properly farmed or of securing increased efficiency in its farming. Failing agreement, the question whether any payment has to be made under this provision, and if so, how much, falls to be determined by the Scottish Land Court.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland who authorised the erection of sheep fencing on that part of the deer forest, the name of which has already been communicated to him, requisitioned by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland; what the cost has been to date; and whether it is considered that this fencing is necessary to increase potential yield from sheep stock in the area?
I authorised the erection of fencing on the deer forest referred to. The cost is approximately £260. The fencing is being erected for the purpose of enclosing certain parks in the deer forest. These parks were fenced when previously the deer forest was used as a sheep grazing.