Mr William Snadden: It is impossible to define at this stage the precise methods of applying this assistance, because we must have some experience of decontrol in order to find the most satisfactory method.
Mr William Snadden: I hope that the House will forgive me if I intervene now to deal with some of the points raised by Scottish Members, because the Bill is of considerable importance to our country. Perhaps I might make a few general observations to try to show the difference between our part of the Bill and the English part. The most obvious difference between England and Scotland in terms of the Bill is one...
Mr William Snadden: That is true. The local authorities will provide facilities designed to meet the reasonable requirements of the area. The right hon. Gentleman is quite correct. My hon. and gallant Friend also raised a question about the conflict of opinion between farmers who want a dead-weight and grade system and the meat trade, and so on. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire (Sir R. Boothby) also...
Mr William Snadden: Extraction is still proceeding at the rate of about 2 million cubic feet per month. As the statement of progress is rather lengthy, I shall, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr William Snadden: My right hon. Friend cannot give a specific date because certain of the timber is in inaccessible places, but if my hon. and gallant Friend will read the OFFICIAL REPORT tomorrow morning, he will find a full report of the progress.
Mr William Snadden: That is a separate question which should be put on the Order Paper.
Mr William Snadden: The Raemore grazings are to be used for forestry in accordance with the Strathoykell plan which was approved by the Highlands Panel. My right hon. Friend cannot see his way to alter the arrangements made for the planting of this area. I have today written to my hon. Friend about this matter.
Mr William Snadden: I have written to my hon. Friend fully on this matter, but I would remind him that the land was originally secured for forestry, and we have to take into account the fact that afforestation will provide work for crofters not fully employed. The general effect in the area has also to be taken into account, as well as grazings.
Mr William Snadden: In addition to research and experimental work being carried out by commercial firms, research is being undertaken by the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering and its substation in Scotland to find efficient methods of digging potatoes out of the ground and of separating potatoes from extraneous matter.
Mr William Snadden: This is a very complicated question of the separation of earth and stones from the potatoes. One machine has been produced, but it was found to be faulty in one respect, and the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering has devised a different principle. At this moment, consideration is being given to putting it into production.
Mr William Snadden: I understand that the possibility of an aero-magnetic survey for geological purposes is receiving consideration. A photographic survey for the other purposes suggested by my noble Friend would not be likely to add to the information already available.
Mr William Snadden: We think we have all the information that could be got from such a survey, but I have no doubt that the suggestion will be borne in mind.
Mr William Snadden: My right hon. Friend hopes to be in a position to publish the Report after the Easter Recess.
Mr William Snadden: We can all agree that we have had a very full discussion of this Bill both on Second Reading and in Committee.
Mr William Snadden: This is a Bill which raises a comparatively narrow point. I think that that is recognised by everybody—
Mr William Snadden: —but it has engendered a considerable amount of argument and feeling on both sides of the House. That is a perfectly natural thing to happen. It is inevitable when the question of tied cottages is discussed in this Chamber. I have argued about this subject for 15 years, and if the right hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) had been in his place he would have been able to say that...
Mr William Snadden: I am trying to point out that I was accused of having said that enormous progress has been made under the Hill Farming Act but that I said nothing of the kind. I do not deny that considerable progress has been made, but, when this Bill is on to the Statute Book, we hope to see that progress very much increased. That is one of the reasons why we are bringing in this Bill. It is not right for...
Mr William Snadden: No, we are not. That was debated, as hon. Members know, and was decided when we debated the Housing Acts in the House of Commons. When hon. Members opposite were Members of the Administration they recognised the practical necessities of the service cottage by continuing to offer grants for tied cottages—
Mr William Snadden: I am not saying that it was under the Hill Farming Act, but they recognised the principle of the tied cottage by continuing to offer grants for service cottages provided they were built in lieu of condemned cottages.
Mr William Snadden: The Labour Government recognised the practical necessity of the tied cottage system in our farming system by continuing to offer grants for tied cottages. Why did they not abolish the tied cottage altogether? They did not do so. By far the largest part of the farming industry at present is operating, or has been operating, in the past 18 months under the principle introduced by the Housing...