HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 cc17-8
26. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware of repeated serious floodings in South Yorkshire; and whether he is now in a position to make a statement of his intentions regarding the Heneage Report of 1951.

Mr. John Hare

I am aware of the special difficulties of maintaining an adequate standard of drainage in the Goole area and of the recent flooding there last July. Since then the drainage authorities concerned have been adopting remedial measures.

As regards the second part of the hon. Member's Question, I expect the discussions with the associations concerned to he concluded shortly, but I am not yet in a position to make any statement.

Mr. Jeger

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that for the past eight years various Ministers of Agriculture have been giving exactly that reply to the same sort of question? Is he further aware that the National Farmers' Union and farmers all over the country whose lands are subject to flooding are getting very impatient at the inactivity of the Government over the Heneage Report? Is he still further aware that, only last Wednesday night, his Joint Parliamentary Secretary on three separate occasions within two minutes said that he would be delighted to open a discussion on the Heneage Report?

Mr. Hare

I am sure that the hon. Member does not mean to be unfair. A great deal of work has been done. He has referred to a period of eight years. He knows that the remedial works to which I have referred include the river board's main improvement scheme on the Don, now largely completed, and the improvement scheme for the River Dearn, approved by my Department some months ago, and that proposals for several pumping stations in the internal drainage districts have been approved in principle or are in the early stages of construction.