Mr William Snadden: I could not give that information without notice.
Mr William Snadden: During the 12 months ended 31st March, 1952, 134 comprehensive improvement schemes under the Hill Farming Act, 1946, and Livestock Rearing Act, 1951, were formally approved. No increases in cattle and sheep can have occurred as yet as a result of the approval of these schemes. The improvement which will eventually follow will, however, be much reflected in the health and quality of the...
Mr William Snadden: That is a separate question that should be addressed to another Minister.
Mr William Snadden: The Secretary of State for War has informed my right hon. Friend with regret that owing to the many other calls on the services of the Royal Engineers there is no prospect of the survey being made this summer. I cannot say, therefore, when the construction of the causeway will begin. No question of expenditure from the funds at my right hon. Friend's disposal arises at this stage.
Mr William Snadden: I think the hon. Member knows that the Secretary of State has always been sympathetic towards this matter and so, in fact, has my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War. The fact is that the troops are not available. As to the second part of the hon. Member's question, I will certainly put his views to my right hon. Friend.
Mr William Snadden: We are fully aware of the importance of this question; but I understand that the reason why troops are not available is because of the training of Service men. I will put the suggestion to my right hon. Friend.
Mr William Snadden: Perhaps I should add here that it would be more convenient for the Government if these two Amendments were taken separately. The second one deals with a rather different point.
Mr William Snadden: I must say that I agree with what the hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. Poole) has said, and I am sorry tO have to tell those hon. Members who support this Amendment that we cannot see our way to accept it, because we feel it would tie the Government's hands to too great an extent and would introduce an unnecessary rigidity into the Bill. I think we are all agreed that generally the more rigid...
Mr William Snadden: That is what this Amendment means. It says that a scheme shall "provide for defining or limiting the kinds of land under grass." That makes it obligatory on the Government to define in their scheme every type of grassland——
Mr William Snadden: The Amendment seeks to put an obligation upon us to define in every scheme the kinds of land for which a grant is to be paid. I cannot read it in any other way.
Mr William Snadden: If we are going to bring in an all-embracing scheme such as we are bringing in at the moment, I am advised that this Amendment would mean that we should have to particularise and specify, according to the legal reading of it, every kind of grassland under that scheme. We feel that that would complicate things far too much and would cause us a great deal of unnecessary work, because today...
Mr William Snadden: I think that the hon. and learned Gentleman will see what our definition is if he looks at the last subsection in the Bill. Of course, if we wish to vary that in any future scheme, we may miss out some of the parts that are included in the reference.
Mr William Snadden: That subsection in the Bill refers to all grassland, and if we bring in a fresh scheme which is different from the present one we shall define particular types of land to which the scheme shall apply. That will mean that some of the things included in the last subsection may not be included in a fresh scheme.
Mr William Snadden: As a practical farmer, I have considerable sympathy with what has been said by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), specially in regard to frosts, for it is almost elementary to say that the best results are achieved by exposing land to frosts throughout the winter and that a very much better tilth is thus obtained in the spring. I also realise that behind...
Mr William Snadden: This may be a legal question, but I am advised that it would mean the opposite of what the hon. and learned Gentleman said. In any event it does not affect my argument. We do not want to be bound with dates in this Bill, because it is conceivable that conditions may arise at some future time when, for instance, for Price Review, a grant may have to be terminated at certain times. We do not...
Mr William Snadden: I regret that the only figures at present available are those obtained from farmers' forecasts of 4th March. My hon. and gallant Friend no doubt has these figures, but if he so wishes I will send him details. Firmer figures, from the June returns, will be available early in August.
Mr William Snadden: I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the notice which the University of Edinburgh have served on their tenant to quit the farm of New Milton. The notice was served in order that the farm may be made available for research purposes to the Edinburgh Centre of Rural Economy (not the Department of Agriculture for Scotland). My right hon. Friend has given his consent to the operation of the...
Mr William Snadden: The answer is that the farm is required for the Animal Diseases Research Association, but the tenant has, until 17th July, a right to appeal to the Scottish Land Court. I am sure that the hon. Member will realise that it would be undesirable for me to comment upon the matter pending any inquiry.
Mr William Snadden: There is statutory power in existing legislation covering research.
Mr William Snadden: No, Sir. There is no evidence at all, but on the other hand we have to take into account that research must go on, especially into animal diseases.