§ Lieut.-Colonel Corbett
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that, owing to the Ministry of Health having switched manufacture of field drain pipes to bricks, production upon some 8W thousands of acres in Northamptonshire, upon which work had been scheduled and in some cases started by the W.A.E.C., is now held up; what steps he proposes to take to remedy the shortage of pipes; and what assistance he proposes to give to farmers whose acres are wasting until the completion of these drainage schemes.
§ Mr. T. Williams
The greatly increased demand for bricks is causing some manufacturers to concentrate on brick making at the expense of the production of field drain pipes, but there has been no Government direction in this matter. At the same time, the demand for pipes from many counties, including Northamptonshire, has recently been greatly in excess of estimated requirements, on which allocations were based. The position is at present admittedly difficult, but my Department is endeavouring, in co-operation with the Ministry of Works, to maintain the supply It is hoped to arrange for the delivery of a further 8,000 pipes to the Northamptonshire W.A.E.C. this week in addition to 8,000 that have already been delivered
I am not clear what the hon. and gallant Member has in mind regarding assistance to farmers, but I would remind him that Government grants were first made available for this type of drainage in 1940, so that there has been ample opportunity to carry out urgent schemes.