asked the Lord President of the Council whether he can give any information as to the test of drying English fruit carried out by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research at the Ditton laboratory, near Maidstone, Kent?
Preliminary experiments were carried out last season at the Ditton Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research on the drying of English fruits, mainly apples, pears and plums. The results so far obtained from these experiments and from the examination of the dried products after six months' storage are encouraging. The subject is being further pursued. Close contact in this work is being maintained between the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ministry of Food, the Agricultural Research Council and the Ministry of Agriculture. Representatives of the National Farmers' Union visited the laboratory last week and were told of the methods employed and shown the results obtained.
Does this experiment in any way extend to Scotland at the present time, or will it be extended to include Scotland?
Certainly, if it continues to be satisfactory.
In that case will the Secretary of State for Scotland be brought into the picture in addition to those mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman?