HC Deb 10 February 1958 vol 582 cc5-6
4. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps are taken by his Department to see that a field drainage scheme for which a Government grant is given is maintained in a satisfactory state.

Mr. Godber

My Ministry's local officers take every opportunity of drawing farmers' attention to the vital need of maintaining drainage systems.

Mr. Hayman

May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether there is any system of inspection, because large sums are spent each year on field drainage projects and it would seem to be a waste of money if they are not inspected afterwards?

Mr. Godber

Considerable numbers are so inspected, but there are real practical difficulties here. My right hon. Friend has in the past urged local executive committees and his local officials to keep a special watch on this, and, as far as we can, we will deal with the point which the hon. Member has in mind.

Mr. T. Williams

If a member or members of a county executive committee do follow up drainage schemes and see that they are properly maintained, in view of the Government grant, would the hon. Gentleman or his right hon. Friend describe those members of the executive committee as being detective, prosecutor and judge?

Mr. Godber

No, I do not know that I would describe them in quite those terms.

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