§ 14. Mr. Harold Davies
asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science if he is aware that almost £20 millions a year is being paid for farm building subsidies; and if he will establish a research programme for farm building.
§ Mr. Denzil Freeth
My information is that the annual total of grants towards the cost of farm buildings in the United Kingdom is about £7 million. With regard to the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer) on 16th May last.
§ Mr. Davies
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, according to the Report of the Farm Building Association, there is a dire need for some research? Is he aware that my information is that half of 1 per cent. of the subsidies given to agriculture, if devoted to this, would provide a first-class research organisation that might bring a great return to the country? I do not want to elaborate on it, but would the hon. Gentleman look into the problem?
§ Mr. Freeth
I am grateful to the hon. Member far bringing the whole question to the notice of the House. The Agricultural Research Council is advised by the Farm Buildings Research Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Walter Drummond. The hon. Member no doubt will have noticed the report issued to the Press last week about progress in the first year of the experimental farm building scheme. We have great hopes of this.