asked the Minister of Food what steps his Department are now taking to increase the cleaning, drying and holding of bread grains now coming forward from this year's difficult harvest which is beyond the capacity of grain merchants normal storage.
Sixteen national silos, each with a drying capacity of about 10 tons per hour and storage capacity of 5,000 tons, have been in operation for a number of years. In order to meet the need for extra drying and storage facilities for home-grown wheat created by the increasing use of combined harvesters, my Department is erecting six new silos and extending two existing national silos, with a total storage capacity of 21,500 tons and corresponding drying facilities. Some 7,000 tons of this additional storage will be available during September and I hope the balance will be ready for the 1951 harvest. A large tonnage of wheat is moved from the silos for storage at buffer depôts immediately after it has been dried.We are also operating 12 large grain-drying plants in the cereal-growing areas and making extensive use of private drying facilities. Merchants and users are being encouraged to increase their storage and drying capacity, and building licences for these projects are being readily sponsored.