Land Drainage.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 30th October 1929.

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Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

10.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has any progress to report in sanctioning further schemes for land drainage?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

Since the 25th July, 1929, the Minister has sanctioned 25 schemes of land drainage submitted by 14 authorities. The total cost will be about £27,000, of which about £16,000 will represent Government grant. The number of men to be employed is estimated at 536, and seven of the schemes are transfer schemes. I may add that, since the date mentioned above, arrangements, which have been under discussion for three years, have been finally completed in connection with a large scheme for the improvement of the River Welland of which the estimated cost is £190,000. The State grant will be 50 per cent. Of the final net cost.

As regards all these schemes, the grant will come from the funds of the Ministry. There are other drainage schemes, how-ever, in which the Ministry is interested, where the grant will be made through the Unemployment Grants Committee. These include two large schemes, the details of which have not yet been finally settled, for the River Thames and the River Wey, estimated to cost £300,000 and £240,000 respectively.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Will the work on these approved schemes start this winter?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

Yes. The work on the first mentioned group has already begun, I believe. The contracts for the Welland have already, I believe, been let, but I cannot say when the work will be started.

Photo of Sir Annesley Somerville Sir Annesley Somerville , Windsor

May I ask when sanction is likely to be given to the Wey and Thames scheme?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I understand the formal procedure is that there should be a hearing by the Ministry of Health, and that is all that is really necessary.

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

Are the grants given by the Unemployment Grants Committee on the higher or lower scale?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I must require notice of that question.

Photo of Sir George Newton Sir George Newton , Cambridge

May I ask what acreage is concerned and whether any land is being reclaimed under these schemes?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I do not think any land is being reclaimed, but I understand that the area likely to be benefited by the Welland scheme is about 100,000 acres of excellent land.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that nothing in these schemes conflicts with any legislation which is to be brought forward in the Drainage Bill, so as to avoid overlapping?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

We can only proceed according to the existing law.