13. Mr. J. Wells
asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what sums have been spent on scientific and other research for the benefit of horticulture in each year for the past 10 years; what plans he has for increasing this research effort in the future; and how widely and quickly the results of research are made known to growers.
§ Mr. Denzil Freeth
With permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT tables showing Government expenditure, in each of the past 10 years, on research concerned with horticulture which is carried out at those Government research stations which are primarily concerned with horticulture, as well as at the experimental horticulture stations of the National Agricultural Advisory Service and at Colleges of Agriculture in Scotland. In addition, research of direct or indirect benefit to horticulture is carried out at other stations and units of the Agricultural Research Council. Some expansion of this research is being undertaken, including the establishment of a new Unit of Flower Crop Physiology. The results of research are disseminated regularly through scientific and horticultural publications, through the Agricultural Advisory Services, and through open days and membership schemes organised by stations and institutes.
Is my hon. Friend satisfied that sufficient practical, useful information comes from these centres and is put over to our growers in simple language? As my hon. Friend is aware, horticulture is built up of many small units and it is important that this matter should be put over to the small agriculturalists and the small growers simply. Is this being done?
§ Mr. Freeth
It is impossible with so variegated an industry, in which the individual grower occupies so important a position, for all growers to be able to visit the stations of the Agricultural Research Council, and the A.R.C., therefore, has to rely very largely on the N.A.A.S. to disseminate the results of its research to the individual grower.
§ Following are the tables: