asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if a grant is available under the farm improvement scheme for sludge tanks which are made of synthetic rubber.
My right hon. Friend has had no applications for grant on sludge tanks made wholly of synthetic rubber. Any application would have to be assessed in accordance with the conditions of the scheme, including the test of durability.
May I congratulate the hon. Member on the fact that his procrastination has not been carried into the field of sludge tanks? May I ask him whether he is, aware that applications have been made to his Department for grants for tanks which may not have been made wholly but which had been made at least partly of this material? Is it not the case that grants are available for these tanks under the farm improvement schemes in England and Wales? Is he satisfied with the co-ordination between his Department and the Ministry in seeing that there is uniformity in this matter?
There have been two applications and each of them was in connection with a tank in which the synthetic material was used as a lining. It was therefore not made wholly of synthetic rubber. There is nothing against the use of this material if it measures up to the requirements of the scheme.