HC Deb 11 June 1956 vol 554 cc25-6
33. Mr. Remnant

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will permit an extended period of operation to the recommissioned mills so that they can deal with the 1956 harvest if required.

34. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if in view of the further representations made to him, he will now consider favourably proposals from groups of farmers or millers for maintaining in use the facilities for drying and storage at Government grain silos due to be closed this month.

Mr. Nugent

The Government would not be justified in incurring further expenditure of public funds on a grain drying and storage service, of which such limited use has been made. Since, however, some silos are not at present required for Government storage, the Government is prepared to offer to lease nine of them by competitive tender for a seven year period subject to breaks at the end of three and five years.

Arrangements are being made urgently by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works to enable the silos to be made available to lessees by the middle of August. An announcement of the arrangements for tender will be in the Press shortly.

I will, with permission, circulate a list of the selected silos in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Remnant

Can my hon. Friend say what it would cost to keep these mills open for the 1956 harvest only, and will he be good enough to say if the prospective lessees are already known to him?

Mr. Nugent

We are not aware specifically who the prospective lessees are, but we are aware that in those areas there is probably a demand for the silos.

Following is the list: Government silos at
  • Andover (Hants).
  • Bedford (Bedfordshire).
  • Ely (Cambs).
  • Exeter (Devon).
  • Newport (Shropshire).
  • Peterborough (Northants).
  • Rugby (Warwickshire).
  • Stratford-on-Avon (Warwickshire).
and a drying plant with bulk shed storage at Roydon (Essex).