Marginal Farms

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17 November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Victor Collins Mr Victor Collins , Taunton 12:00, 17 November 1949

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is now in a position to state his further plans for an increase in food production on marginal farms.

Mr. T. Williams:

No, Sir, but the subject is receiving careful consideration.

Photo of Mr Victor Collins Mr Victor Collins , Taunton

In view of the importance of the matter, can my right hon. Friend give the House any idea of when the proposal will be announced, because the present arrangements are quite inadequate for dealing with the matter?

Mr. Williams:

I can only say that this matter is under very careful consideration. I am sure my hon. Friend will not forget that a great deal has already been done by this Government for marginal and hill land, and our provisions have included grants for marginal production, the Hill Farming Act for the improvement of marginal and hill farms, the hill sheep and hill cattle subsidies, the calf rearing subsidy, and field drainage and lime subsidies. Thus a considerable effort has been made to help the people on the hill and marginal lands.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

In his reconsideration of the matter will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the means test which operates under the marginal land scheme is deterring many good farmers from taking over the improvement of marginal land?

Mr. Williams:

Yes, we shall take all factors into account.