HC Deb 04 April 1940 vol 359 cc317-8
56. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the great success achieved by Pan American Airways in growing fresh vegetables by hydroponics on Wake Island and in other places where no soil is available; and whether, in view of the fact that this method would enable town-dwellers to grow much of their own food even if they have no gardens, he will issue a pamphlet on the subject; and, if necessary, obtain information from the United States Ministry of Agriculture?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I am aware of the research and experimental work which has been and is being carried out on the soil-less cultivation of plants in the United States, in this country, and elsewhere, and an article on this subject has already been published in the Ministry of Agriculture's Journal. On present information the results obtained by the system are not yet sufficiently definite to justify a recommendation to horticulturists in this country, but I will continue to keep the position under review.

Sir Francis Fremantle

What is hydroponics?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

It is the soil-less cultivation of plants.

Sir J. Lucas

As all that is required is water and a few chemicals could not some enterprising body like the Tottenham Corporation be asked to try the experiment?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I do not think it is quite so simple as that.

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