HC Deb 03 December 1946 vol 431 cc178-9
2. Sir W. Darling

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider, in connection with agricultural development, the building of suitable agricultural engineering shops in agricultural centres where they do not exist and leasing such premises to those qualified and willing to give agricultural and engineering services to communities which are at present denied them.

Mr. Westwood

I am always willing to consider proposals for the development of agricultural services, including proposals for the development of agricultural engineering in suitable areas, and if the hon. Member has any specific centres in mind I will be prepared to have them examined, always keeping in mind under present conditions of shortage of building and other materials the priority needs of housing and other services.

Mr. Snadden

Is the Secretary of State for Scotland aware that the great difficulty is to get permits in these agricultural areas where it is wished to set up agricultural engineering shops? The persons responsible cannot get the necessary permits to get the material with which to build them. It is a very present difficulty, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will take it into account.

Mr. Westwood

I am aware of some of the difficulties facing the agricultural community at the present time. I am doing everything possible in the existing difficult circumstances to assist them to meet and to overcome these problems.

Mr. Spence

Would the Minister agree that the first need in this country is to get houses for the people to live in?

Mr. Westwood

That is exactly what I have said in reply to the Question.