HC Deb 20 September 1948 vol 456 cc516-7
67. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of Agriculture, approximately how many new combine harvesters will become available to the British agricultural industry in time for the harvest of 1949; and how many of these will be available to farmers in the county of Essex.

Mr. T. Williams

Over 2,000 new combine harvesters should be available to the British agricultural industry for the 1949 harvest. A Press notice is being issued informing intending purchasers of the supply arrangements. I cannot say how many combines are likely to be available to farmers in Essex. Quotas for the machines for which demand is heaviest will be allocated to county agricultural executive committees as soon as possible after 1st November, 1948, which is the latest date for committees to receive applications for the makes subject to these quota arrangements.

Mr. Dye

Will my right hon. Friend say whether some of these combine harvesters can be made available to smaller farmers, or groups of smaller farmers, instead of allocating the whole of them to the big farmers?

Mr. Williams

We do not allocate to farmers; we allocate to the county agricultural executive committees.

Mr. Dye

I am referring to the county agricultural committees, particularly in Norfolk.

Mr. Gerald Williams

Is the Minister aware of the storage difficulties which these combine harvesters may cause, and is he taking special action in the matter?

Mr. Williams

I am aware of the shortage of a lot of farm buildings, which might well have been dealt with before 1935.

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