Machinery Service, Dorset

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th April 1954.

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Photo of Mr Robert Crouch Mr Robert Crouch , North Dorset 12:00 am, 8th April 1954

asked the Minister of Agriculture for what reason Dorset was the only county in the south of England, with the exception of the Isle of Wight, to maintain an agricultural executive machinery committee; what profit or loss has been made by the Dorset committee during the last two years; and what were the figures in each year.

Photo of Mr Thomas Dugdale Mr Thomas Dugdale , Richmond (Yorks)

The County Machinery Service in Dorset is being maintained to deal with reclamation and similar work involving the use of specialised machinery. Experience has shown that private contractors are not at present available to deal with all the work of this kind that has be done.

During the past two years, operations in the county resulted in losses of £5,597 and £1,518 respectively, representing the recovery of 83.3 per cent., and 94.9 per cent., of total expenditure.

Photo of Mr Robert Crouch Mr Robert Crouch , North Dorset

In view of these losses, does not my right hon. Friend think it would be wiser to wind up the Dorset committee as he has done other committees in the West Country? May I ask, further, how much greater would have been the loss had it not been for work done at Crichel Down?

Photo of Mr Thomas Dugdale Mr Thomas Dugdale , Richmond (Yorks)

No, Sir. The Dorset committee is doing good work. The loss in the financial year, 1953–54, is not expected to exceed £2,000, and it is hoped that the service will be self-supporting in 1954–55.