§ Sir P. DAWSON
asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether his attention has been drawn to the rapidly growing use of electricity for the purposes of market gardening in Sweden and to the satisfactory results achieved thereby; whether his attention has been called to the Reports published by Swedish Government Departments dealing with the results achieved; and whether he will take steps to make this information available to the British market gardener;
(2) whether his attention has been drawn to the development which has taken place in the last 10 years in the 370W use of electricity for farming purposes in Sweden and to the informative literature dealing with that subject issued by the Swedish Government Departments for the benefit of the community; and whether he will take steps to make this information available to the British farmer?
I assume my hon. Friend refers to a method of heating the soil by electricity which has been advocated in Sweden. Experiments with this method have been conducted for the last two years at the Cheshunt Experimental Station and are still in progress. While it would be premature to express a final opinion, the director of the station reports that so far there is no indication that the method can be applied economically in this country. With regard to my hon. Friend's second question, he is perhaps aware that a Conference summoned by the Electricity Commissioners is at present considering the whole question of rural electrification in this country. A large amount of information from Sweden, as well as from other countries, is before the Conference. I am awaiting the Report of the Conference before deciding what further steps to take in the way of providing advice to farmers on the application of electricity to agriculture.