HC Deb 09 May 1962 vol 659 cc415-6
8. Mr. B. Harrison

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why a grant has been refused to the Essex River Board to carry out the proposed Mundon Wash scheme.

Mr. Vane

I appreciate that this scheme was designed to benefit a large area of agricultural land but after full inquiry I regret it has not been found possible to approve this scheme, which would be very expensive in relation to the land deriving benefit.

Mr. Harrison

Does my hon. Friend realise that this decision means that people who have been paying drainage rates will now be put out of business and that it is not only the people in the immediate vicinity of the Mundon Wash who are suffering, but an increasing number of farmers further back from the actual outlets who will lose their livelihoods?

Mr. Vane

I said that the proposal which we have been considering was very complicated and expensive. There is generally more than one way of tackling large problems like this and it is not uncommon that the best, most elaborate and most expensive is not the only way. It may be possible to devise something which would be effective, if not quite so elaborate, and less expensive. We will willingly consider that if the river board will put such proposals to us.