HC Deb 08 December 1949 vol 470 c2064
24. Colonel Clarke

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the nuisance caused to persons living within one or two miles of the Five Ash Down flax factory by the smell of the retting; and if he will employ some method of deodorising to abate the discomfort caused.

Mr. H. Wilson

I am aware that some people living near the Five Ash Down Flax Factory have complained of the smell of retting. The possibility of deodorising any gases that emanate from the retting tanks is being investigated at the Flax Research Establishment.

Colonel Clarke

Is the Minister aware that nearly 200 people have filed a petition on the subject; and how long will this factory remain open, because locally it was understood to be a temporary war measure?

Mr. Wilson

It will certainly be necessary to go on with this factory because of the shortage of flax from other areas, but I am aware of the petition and I hope that the investigation in the research department will make possible some alleviation of the smell of which complaint is made.

Professor Savory

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the enlightened methods employed in Northern Ireland by which this difficulty is eliminated?

Mr. Wilson

I am fully aware of the methods in force in Northern Ireland. There are peculiar difficulties in the case referred to in the Question, due particularly to shortage of water supplies.