HC Deb 16 March 1961 vol 636 cc1743-4
39. Mr. Loughlin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will reconsider his refusal of a grant in respect of bulk feed storage bins made by Mr. F. J. Chamberlayne, details of which have been given to him; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Vane

No, Sir. I am advised that bins of the kind that Mr. Chamberlayne proposes to install fall outside the provisions of the Act since they are of a kind normally provided by a tenant and not by a landlord.

Mr. Loughlin

Does not the Joint Parliamentary Secretary realise that these bins are a permanent structure, that bins of this kind fall within the Act and that grants have been made on such bins; that they are the most up-to-date, most economical and most labour-saving, according to the National Farmers' Union; and that we can save money for the public by applying a grant to these bins instead of to more costly methods? Will the Joint Parliamentary Secretary explain why his own Advisory Service is now advocating the building of feed bins of this type?

Mr. Vane

I am not disputing that what Mr. Chamberlayne is installing is up-to- date, but in my original reply I gave the reasons why these fall outside the provisions of the Act, where it is very clearly stated that these grants are designed for the longer-term improvement of agricultural land and not for the provision of miscellaneous equipment. However, if the hon. Gentleman feels that an injustice has been done to his constituent, I hope he will get in touch with me and supply the details.

Mr. de Freitas

When the officers recommend that these bins should be installed, do they also point out that they do not come within the Act?

Mr. Vane

I am sure they do. I think that sometimes in the early stages of a scheme like this approval has not been entirely consistent—I will admit that—but today it is entirely clear which form of equipment falls within and which without the Farm Improvements Scheme.

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