asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications under the Farm Improvement Scheme have been received by his Department since 1st November, 1964, for the construction of grain drying plant and storage bins; what proportion of these have now been completed; and what representations he has received about the difficulty of completing the remainder in time for the 1965 harvest on account of the shortage of cement.
I regret that the information asked for in the first two parts of the Question cannot be given without going through some 2,000 applications for farm improvement grants on buildings of all kinds as no separate statistics are kept about grain stores. As regards the last part, I have received representations from the National Farmers' Union about a shortage in one area and I am in touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Public Building and Works concerning this.
In view of the bad weather which we have been suffering in Scotland, and as much of the barley is already flat, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there will be a great need for every drying facility at the end of this harvest? Would it not therefore be right for him to urge his right hon. Friend to give priority to cement to finish grain drying plant?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I am grateful to him for the action which he and his right hon. Friend took on the Borders N.F.U.'s application in this respect?