25 March 1998
SNFU calls for agriculture committee
in Scots Parliament

By FWi staff

THE Scottish National Farmers Union has called for the setting-up of an agriculture committee to operate within the structure of the new Scottish Parliament.

In a letter to Scottish devolution minister Henry McLeish, union president George Lyon said: “We [SNFU] understand that a committee structure for the Parliament is currently being considered. The union strongly recommends establishment of an agriculture committee.”

Mr Lyon said most of the decision making covering agriculture policy was dominated by Brussels or Westminster. But the ways in which these powers are used, and the affect they have on Scottish agriculture, are essential topics for investigation, he said.

“It is for others to propose the way in which a committee structure might instigate or influence the drafting of legislation. But the Scottish NFU recommends that the parliaments committees should have an investigative role,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Mr Lyon has been adopted as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute (his home constituency) for next years election to the devolved Scottish Parliament.

Mr Lyon indicated before his election as SNFU leader earlier this month that he would hold the post for only one year before concentrating on the Scottish Parliament election.