HC Deb 13 March 1958 vol 584 cc591-2
17. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in the implementation of the Heneage Report of 1951.

Mr. John Hare

I am afraid I cannot add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne) on 6th March to the effect that I was not yet in a position to make a statement on this subject.

Mr. Jeger

Is the right hon. Gentleman taking any action on this matter? This Report was submitted in 1951. Since then, there have been repeated Questions about it from both sides of the House. Despite his newness to his present office, is not the right hon. Gentleman aware of the grave disquiet in the agricultural industry about the unnecessary delay in dealing with this very vital subject?

Mr. Hare

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I am well aware of the anxiety on both sides of the House about this matter. I can assure him that time is not being wasted. There is considerable discussion with parties whose agreement is essential to our making further progress.

Mr. Fell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that we have had that sort of answer on a number of occasions from a number of Ministers of Agriculture? I do not want to bait my hon. Friend, because I am certain that he is doing everything he can, but is not he aware that there are many anomalies in land drainage in various parts of the country? Is he aware that we should be extremely grateful if we could be absolutely sure that he would do something fairly soon?

Mr. Hare

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for not wanting to bait me. I will do my best in this matter.

Mr. T. Williams

Would not the right hon. Gentleman and his predecessors have served a better purpose if they had devoted themselves to devising a solution for the land drainage problem instead of producing an unnecessary Bill such as that which I understand is to be discussed next week?

Mr. Hare

I think that the right hon. Gentleman is somewhat prejudiced.