Hill Farmers (Income)

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire 12:00 am, 29th November 1967

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the present level of income of hill farmers; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Hill farmers' returns will benefit this year from the increases in the hill cow, hill sheep and calf subsidies at the last Annual Review and the stronger store markets. We shall, of course, be considering farmers' incomes soon in the context of the Annual Review, together with all other relevant factors.

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in an earlier reply the indication was that the underlying trend of incomes for hill farms was static and that costs were rising? What is the right hon Gentleman going to do about it?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

As the hon. Member knows, this is a matter for the Review.

Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that small hill farmers in areas adjacent to parts of the country affected by foot-and-mouth disease have had to bear heavy additional costs this year because they have had to retain their store cattle and store lambs, and to buy fodder?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

This question of cost is a factor that we have to bear in mind.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that his answer to this Question, like his answer to some earlier ones, adds to the need for an early statement that we shall recoup farmers for these costs? Will he give an answer which will show that he realises the need—as expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House—for an early statement?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I said that I will make a statement as early as possible. These are matters for Review procedure and discussion with the unions.

Photo of Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles , Winchester

Will the right hon. Gentleman assist hill farmers and all other farmers by cancelling forthwith the importation of beef from the Argentine?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

That has nothing to do with this Question about hill farmers.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Kingston upon Hull West

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many hon. Members on these benches and many farmers in East Yorkshire take exception to the way in which the Opposition wish to involve him at this stage in some ill-thought and unpremeditated action?