Land Drainage, Doncaster.

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons at on 23 November 1931.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

41.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether any scheme or schemes for draining agricultural land in the Doncaster area have been submitted to his Department during the past few weeks by the Doncaster area drainage board; and, if so, will he state whether such scheme or schemes have been approved?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

Drainage schemes are submitted by drainage authorities to the Ministry only when an application is made for a Government grant. On the 19th September, I informed drainage authorities that, in view of the existing financial situation, no further applications for grants could until further notice be entertained. In these circum- stances there would be no object in the submission of schemes by the Doncaster Area Drainage Board. The board, is of course, empowered to carry out schemes of work, although Government grants are withdrawn.

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

Is the Minister of Agriculture not aware that the Doncaster area suffers more from lack of drainage than they do from the low price of commodities, and does he not think that he ought to bring pressure to bear, not only upon the local boards, but upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide financial assistance for such a special area?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I would remind the hon. Member that we have been passing through, and are still in, a financial crisis in this country, and due regard must be paid to that fact.

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

is the right bon. Gentleman not aware that many of the struggling farmers could make their farms pay if they could have their land drained, and would not that help to balance our trade?