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East Anglian Horticulture Station

Volume 934: debated on Thursday 30 June 1977

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13.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made towards the establishment of the proposed East Anglian Experimental Horticulture Station.

As my right hon. Friend, the Minister's predecessor, informed my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Walker) on 6th August 1976, this project has been postponed as one of the Government's economy measures.

Can the Minister give an assurance to myself and to the House that this project has not been abandoned? Would he at least care to confirm that there will be no let-up in the amount of research and development that is so necessary in horticulture?

Yes, I can assure the hon. Gentleman strongly on the latter point. With regard to his former point, I can tell him that we believe that there is still a strong case for an experimental horticulture station in East Anglia and that it is simply an unfortunate casualty of the policy of containing public expenditure. However, it is still our intention to establish one.