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Flooded Land

Volume 437: debated on Monday 5 May 1947

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57.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will make a statement at regular convenient intervals stating the total acreage of land still flooded; the number of acres from which the water is being pumped out and drained by gravity; the number of acres brought back into cultivation; the respective types of crop sown since in each area drained; and what is the situation under each of these headings today.

Some 325,000 acres of arable land were flooded during March and early April, of which over 85 per cent. has now been cleared. Some 40,000 acres which were deeply inundated remain under flood water, which is being dispersed as rapidly as possible by permanent and emergency pumps, and where practicable by gravitation. A high proportion of the areas cleared has been brought back into cultivation, but I would not feel justified in calling for periodic returns of the acreage and the crops sown, which will be disclosed in due course by 4th June returns.

Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there are some areas which have begun to be drained by gravity, and where the level of the flood water has now gone down to the level of the river, and that unless pumps are brought in, the water will remain at the same level for many weeks to come? Will the Minister see that enough pumps are made available, and enough people to work them?

I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that we have had no complaints from any parts of the flooded areas of a shortage of pumps.