HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 c612
42. Mr. Gunter

asked the Minister of Supply if he is aware that his officers at the Shoeburyness Experimental Station have refused Messrs. Belton Bros., of Foulness Island, permission to sow 100 acres of good land with barley because the height of the barley crop would interfere with their technical work; that this reason was given in 1947 and the resulting height of the weeds, docks and thistles was twice that of barley; and will he now reconsider the position.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. John Freeman)

Barley could not be grown on this land in 1947 as construction work was being carried out on it during the summer. A growing crop would interfere with the experiments to be carried out there in the near future. The land will be cleared of weeds and planted with grass which will be kept short by grazing or cutting.

49. Mr. Gunter

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he has taken during the past twelve months to secure the best use of agricultural land on Foulness Island, Essex, and if he is satisfied with the present position.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

My Department, both centrally and through the Essex Agricultural Executive Committee, maintains close liaison with the War Office and the Ministry of Supply to ensure that this agricultural land is put to the best possible agricultural use consistent with the essential requirements of the latter Department, to whom the Island has been made available for experimental purposes. I am satisfied that in the existing circumstances the Island is producing as much food as is practicable.