HC Deb 21 December 1964 vol 704 cc847-8
26. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources what plans he has for increasing the water resources available for agricultural irrigation.

Mr. Willey

To increase the water resources available for irrigation is one of the objects of the Water Resources Act, 1963, and it will be for the river authorities established under the Act to formulate plans.

Mr. Hill

Is the Minister aware that there is considerable disquiet at the insertion of yet another Ministry and Minister in the field of agriculture, drainage and irrigation? Can he say whether he has experts in his Department who understand the problem of agriculture and irrigation? Will he press the river authorities to concentrate on further measures of water conservation so that this important development will expand and not be restricted for lack of effective policy?

Mr. Willey

I must ask the hon. Member to await a further statement which will be made on this subject.

Mr. Peyton

When the right hon. Gentleman next answers Questions, will he see if he can create a record by transferring all his Questions to one or other of his right hon. Friends?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The right hon. Gentleman referred in his Answer to the responsibility of the river boards. Can he tell us who has responsibility in Wales for the river boards, he, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government or the Secretary of State for Welsh Affairs, or all three together?

Mr. Willey

If the hon. Member will await a further statement he will see that that is covered.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Will my right hon. Friend take note of this new spirit and demand for activity and action on behalf of hon. Members opposite who never showed any of this demand for twelve years?

Mr. Willey

I find it most encouraging.

Mr. Webster

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Answers to the last 27 Questions, I beg to give notice that I shall raise these matters again.

Mr. Speaker

Order. That notice is irregular and has no effect.