That is not a very encouraging Answer. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that oats, potatoes, swedes, turnips, dairy cows, pigs, poultry and sugar beet are all substantially down this year and that income from livestock has fallen disastrously? Will he take urgent steps to restore the confidence of the farmers?
We have already taken steps in respect of those sections of the industry which have been hardest hit by recent events and conditions, in particular by giving the advance payment of 15s. per ewe to hill sheep farmers and by stating, in advance of the Annual Review, our intention to raise the middle band for pigs by 400,000. The hon. Gentleman may consider this to be a not particularly encouraging Answer, but it shows that the Government are anxious to tackle this problem, remembering that this is the time when all these products should be fully taken into account by the Government and the industry.
The position regarding milk production is that there has been a decline in the number of herds. However, the size of individual herds is increasing, and that has shown a further tendency towards concentration in dairy production.
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the figures which my hon. Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur) gave—of eight commodities being down; and only two commodities are up—shows that the June census return is a contradiction unparalleled in the post-war years and shows the lack of confidence among the agricultural community in the present Administration?
Will the right hon. Gentleman pay particular attention to the crisis of confidence in the hill and marginal section of farming, not only at the time of the next Review but immediately, so that something may be done to restore confidence, particularly if we are to enter the E.E.C.?