HC Deb 22 November 1928 vol 222 cc1922-3

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the recent remarks of the chairman of the Ouse Drainage, Board with regard to the serious situation of the South Level; whether he is prepared to take any steps to assist in setting up a separate South Level Board with powers similar to the Middle Level Board; and whether he is willing, in view of the Chancellor's recent statement with regard to drainage grants, to provide some financial assistance?


I am aware of the views of the chairman of the Ouse Drainage Board on this matter. I have no objection to the constitution of a separate drainage district for the South Level, but before I can take any action a petition must be submitted in accordance with the provisions of the Land Drainage Act, 1918. As regards the last part of the question, I may say that the Ouse Drainage Board is already carrying out a large scheme of works in the South Level, and that my Department is making a grant of 50 per cent. of the cost of the scheme, which is estimated at £140,000. The Ministry is also making grants towards the cost of other schemes within the Ouse drainage district, and will be prepared to consider any fresh proposals which may be submitted.


Is there to he an exchequer grant of 75 per cent.?


I do not think so. As a matter of fact, we are still discussing the details of the new conditions, and, as soon as I am in a position to do so, I will make an announcement.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Is it intended to put into force the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Land Drainage in the case of this river as well as others?


Certainly, when general legislation is introduced it will apply to the Ouse as well as to all other catchment areas.


When is the primary scheme for the Doncaster district likely to be ready.


I hope there will be an opportunity of dealing with it at a very early date. As the hon. Member is aware, it is not a matter of a general amendment of the law, but of agreed legislation to apply to a particular district.

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