HC Deb 19 February 1959 vol 600 cc513-4
1. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has considered the petition sent to him, signed by over eighty farmers in the Marsh-chapel area, Lincolnshire, protesting against the inadequate protection afforded them against flooding; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. J. B. Godber)

My right hon. Friend has received this petition, and understands that the Lincolnshire River Board is about to undertake a survey of the area, after which it will be for the river board and the Louth Internal Drainage Board to decide what action is appropriate. My engineers will, of course, be ready to help in whatever way they can, if they are requested to do so.

Mr. Osborne

Whilst the Lincolnshire farmers are grateful to my hon. Friend for what he has done for them recently, they are wondering whether there are any financial reasons for this work not being done. If not, will my hon. Friend put the maximum pressure on the river boards to get the work started and completed, because the farmers feel that they could produce more food if the land were safe from flooding?

Mr. Godber

I have a good deal of sympathy with the difficulties of the farmers, but I think that the important thing is to get the survey done and to see just what the facts are.