HC Deb 20 March 1929 vol 226 cc1727-8
29. Major CARVER

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number and nature of the reclamation and drainage schemes started and completed since 1924, the sums granted by the Government towards such schemes, and the number of workers thereby employed?


As the reply is rather long and includes a number of figures, I propose, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

During the years 1921–22 to 1925–26 a programme of land drainage work was in operation for the relief of unemployment primarily in rural areas, the season in each case lasting about six months. In the season 1924–25 the number of schemes carried out was 386, the Government contribution £165,000, and the labour employed the equivalent of 2,000 men on full employment for a year. The corresponding figures for 1925–26 were 194 schemes, £38,000 Government contribution, and 600 men. A new programme was instituted as from 1st April, 1926, but this was not directly for the relief of unemployment, and the amount of labour employed cannot be stated. Under this programme 20 schemes have been completed with Government grants totalling £20,000; 32 are in operation, the estimated grants being £250,000, and 11 others where the estimated grants are £117,000 have been approved in principle. The further programme recently introduced with the object of facilitating the transfer of labour from depressed areas has been in operation for so short a period that very little work has yet been done, but the number of schemes approved or accepted in principle is nine, and the total estimated cost is in the neighbourhood of £650,000. No schemes of reclamation have been carried out since 1924.

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