§ 5. Major COLVILLE
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the growing dissatisfaction amongst agriculturists in Scotland at the failure of the Government to take steps to assist that industry; and what action he proposes to take?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. William Adamson)
No, Sir. Agriculturists in Scotland appreciate the steps which the Govern- 1047 ment has already taken to assist the industry, and realises that the Government must have reasonable time in which to deal with other disabilities under which various branches of the industry suffer.
§ Sir ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND
What are the steps to which the right hon. Member refers which Scottish agriculturists appreciate?
§ Mr. ADAMSON
I have on more than one occasion given a full list in answer to questions in this House.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Will the right hon. Gentleman be kind enough to tell us, or else refer us to the answer in which the full list is given?
Is not the Lanarkshire experiment of giving a milk supply to children not directly helpful to the agricultural industry and will the Ministry do their very best to extend this as much as possible?
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
Arising out of the original reply, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman does not consider that 10 months is a pretty reasonable time to wait for some statement of agricultural policy; and when he will be in a position to make a general statement of the agricultural policy of the Government as it applies to Scotland?
§ Mr. ADAMSON
In reply to the hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby), I might remind him of this, that 10 months is not as long a period of time as four and a-half years, and that he and his party, even at the end of four and a-half years, has to be stimulated in their efforts by Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Rothermere.
Commander Sir BOLTON EYRES MONSELL
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that nearly every two months the last Administration passed some Bill for the benefit of agriculture?
§ 7. Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Departmental Committee on Agricultural Co-operation in Scotland have completed their inquiry, awl when their Report will be issued; and when the Report of the Department Agriculture for Scotland for the past year will be issued?
§ Mr. W. ADAMSON
The Committee on Agricultural Co-operation have completed their inquiry and hope to submit their Report this week. The Report will be published without delay. As regards the second part of the hon. and learned Member's question, I hope that the Department's Report will be available within two or three weeks.
§ 8. Mr. MILLAR
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of unemployed agricultural workers in Scotland and the number in the county of Fife, so far as the figures are ascertainable from Poor Law and other local records; and the number who have emigrated during the past 12 months or who have joined the Colours?
§ Mr. ADAMSON
As regards the first part of the question, I regret that the information desired is not available. According to statistics compiled by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, the number of male agricultural workers who emigrated from Scotland in 1929 was 2,183. Particulars as to the number who joined the Colours are not available.
§ Mr. MILLAR
May I ask whether it is not possible to ascertain the number of unemployed agricultural workers who are in our towns at present from information which is easily obtainable, and whether the right hon. Gentleman will verify the statement made in regard to the number of those who have recently joined the Colours? Can the right hon. Gentleman not apply the proper quarter and get the information?
§ Mr. ADAMSON
From 350 to 400 men were registered at the Employment Exchanges in Scotland as unemployed agricultural workers, of whom 30 were in Fife. These figures cannot be regarded as giving any reliable guide to the extent of unemployment. The total recruitment for the Army, as finally approved by the Scottish Command, for the year ending 30th September, 1929, was 3,087 men. 1049 These were not necessarily all Scottish; and there is no reliable information as to how many of the men were engaged in the agricultural industry.
§ Mr. SKELTON
In view of the continued drain of rural population from Scotland, will the right hon. Gentleman seriously undertake a scheme of land settlement?
Has the right hon. Gentleman found that unemployment among agricultural workers has facilitated recruitment in the Army?