asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which are the associations he is consulting in connection with land drainage; how far substantial progress has been made towards agreement to secure improvements in land drainage; and when he expects to be able to introduce legislation clearly establishing responsibility in this field.
Consultations are proceeding with the River Boards' Association, the Association of Drainage Authorities, the National Farmers' Union, and the Country Landowners' Association, but the task of securing agreement on workable proposals is far from easy and is bound to take some time.
I accept that there is need to get on with this matter, and I am sorry that we have not made more progress so far. However, we have just been accused of making up our minds in another matter, and hon. Members cannot have it both ways.