HC Deb 09 July 1959 vol 608 cc1534-5
5. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in discussions with the appropriate organisations concerning the internal drainage boards and the problem of flooding in various parts of the country.

Mr. John Hare

I regret that I am not yet in a position to add to the reply given on 8th June to the hon. Member for Goole (Mr. G. Jeger).

Mr. Bellenger

The right hon. Gentleman will know that last November he gave me an Answer which seemed to offer some hope of progress. Can he tell the House a little more, because we are approaching the winter flood season? We ought to try to get something done before then if it is at all possible.

Mr. Hare

I well remember the Question which the right hon. Gentleman put to me. I can tell him that the matters which he raised in that connection on 10th November are under discussion with the authorities concerned. I hope to be able to say something more later on.

Mr. T. Williams

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these matters have been under discussion now for about eight years? Can he give some indication when one or other of the several alternatives will be accepted?

Mr. Hare

The right hon. Gentleman is quite right. These matters have been under discussion for a very long time. I am happy to say that we are making very reasonable progress in these discussions.

Mr. G. Jeger

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear constantly in mind the fact that many farmers with land in the northern Midlands, represented by my right hon. Friend and myself, suffer great loss of money and work due to the flooding of their land, and the country loses a great deal of food?

Mr. Hare

What the hon. Gentleman has said very fairly pinpoints the importance of this matter.

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