§ 37. Mr. SMITHERS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether it is the policy of the Government to undertake land 957 drainage 'and reclamation; if so, to what extent has this policy been carried out since the Government took office; and what is the extent and cost of the schemes, if any, already approved?
§ Mr. N. BUXTON
The Ministry is prepared to make grants towards the cost of carrying out approved schemes promoted by drainage authorities or county councils. Financial assistance is also available through the Unemployment Grants Committee. Since the present Government took office, 33 schemes have been approved for grants from the Ministry's funds, the total grants being estimated at £31,000, while 12 schemes are under consideration, the grants involved being estimated at £10,000. In addition, 12 schemes, have been approved or accepted in principle by the Unemployment Grants Committee, the total estimated cost being £577,000, and four other schemes, estimated to cost in all £183,000, are under consideration.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many of these schemes were on the stocks before he came into office?
§ Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many men it is estimated that these schemes will employ?
Mr. FRANK OWEN
Is it part of the right hon. Gentleman's policy to settle smallholders upon the land?
§ 52. Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, during the present rainy season, he has taken or is taking any steps and, if so, of what nature to schedule flooded districts suitable to be dealt with under the promised Land Drainage Bill?
§ Mr. BUXTON
The Ministry has been engaged during the last 18 months in carrying out a survey in connection with the legislation recommended by the Royal Commission on land drainage. This survey is still proceeding and the recent floods have afforded additional information to the staff engaged thereon.