Ploughing Grant

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Major Henry Spence Major Henry Spence , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central 12:00, 25 October 1949

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what approximate acreage will rank for ploughing subsidy in Scotland for autumn, 1949.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

I have no means of knowing what acreage will rank for ploughing grant until all the claims for grant have been submitted and examined. For purposes of estimate it was assumed that about half the acreage of last year would qualify.

Photo of Major Henry Spence Major Henry Spence , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

In that case, can the Minister say what the figure amounts to?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

We estimated that 180,000 acres would be ploughed up after the 1949 harvest by 31st December.

Photo of Major Henry Spence Major Henry Spence , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reports he has received recently regarding the conditions of grazing on grasslands that are now to be ploughed in order to rank for subsidy by 31st December, 1949.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

It has been reported to me that owing to the recent favourable weather grazing conditions in Scotland are generally very satisfactory.

Photo of Major Henry Spence Major Henry Spence , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

Will the Secretary of State reconsider his answer of last week that he would not amend the Statute to enable him to pay the ploughing subsidy after 31st December, in view of the loss that will be caused at this time to National economy if we plough in good grain?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

No, Sir. The decision was made two years ago, and everyone in the farming community knew that the ploughing subsidy would come to an end on 31st December. That was taken into account when prices were settled in February of this year, and, therefore, it is a matter for the farmer's own discretion how he deals with the land in these circumstances.

Photo of Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan , Perth

Would not the Secretary of State reconsider this? Does he not wish to have as much land as possible ploughed up with a view to the 1950 crop, and should not the datum line be that it is completed in time to plant that crop?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

It is essential that the ploughing should be done before 31st December.

Photo of Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan , Perth

The farmers cannot do it.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

With regard to the question of increasing the subsidy, because that is what it means, I would refer the hon. and gallant Gentleman to the statement made yesterday by the Prime Minister.

Commander Galbraith:

Was the Secretary of State aware two years ago of the very favourable grazing conditions that would exist this autumn?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

Conditions vary in different parts of the country. In some places the ground is too hard and in other places it is too soft. So far as I know, these variabilities have existed in every season in our history.