§ Sir R. Glyn
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will give an estimate of the quantity of grain coming on to the market as a result of the increasing use of combine-harvester machinery; whether he is satisfied that the storage capacity of grain merchants is adequate to clean and store these large tonnages, especially of barley; and what steps can be taken to provide the materials to increase storage capacity.
§ Mr. T. Williams
Other factors, in addition to the number of machines, affect the quantity of grain harvested by combine harvesters. This year the number of combines operating in Great Britain would be capable of dealing with over I million tons under average working conditions, but I do not know the quantity actually harvested by this method. I am not aware of serious or widespread difficulties arising from shortage of grain storage facilities; but my Department and the Ministry of Food are continuing to encourage the erection, by farmers, merchants and ultimate users, of new grain drying and storage installations where the need exists. In the six months ended 30th June, 1948, 65 applications from farmers and merchants for building licences were approved, involving work estimated to cost £65,000. Applications from users (such as millers and maltsters) would add appreciably to these figures, but details are not available.