HC Deb 09 June 1953 vol 516 cc24-5
38. Mr. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the estimated acreage which could be brought into agricultural use if the land drainage schemes known to his Department were completed.

Mr. J. Stuart

The report of the Land Drainage (Scotland) Committee, published in 1950, estimated that about 200,000 acres of land affected by inadequate arterial drainage should be drained in the interests of efficient agriculture.

Mr. Manuel

Is the Secretary of State aware that his repeated pleas for better agricultural production would have much more effect in Scotland if the various areas that have these drainage problems continually thrown back were authorised to proceed? Could he give an assurance that there will be legislation to allow drainage to take place, instead of certain individuals being able to stop it because they are not prepared to pay the money necessary?

Mr. Stuart

I can assure the hon. Gentleman, as I have done in the past, that I am very anxious to see this matter proceeded with. It has necessitated very difficult negotiations, and I hope to introduce legislation as soon as possible.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is it not a fact that this is not only a matter of bringing agricultural land into use by drainage, but of saving agricultural land from lack of drainage?

Mr. Stuart

I quite agree with my hon. and gallant Friend.

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