§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether the Government have come to any decision with regard to the advisability of the purchase by the State of the canals throughout the country; and, if so, whether he is prepared to make any statement on the subject?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
, in reply, said, what he had suggested to the hon. Member for Glasgow, who advocated the State purchase of railways, was to direct his attention to the purchase of canals as a more feasible proposal, and one to which less objection could be offered. But he did not undertake, on behalf of the Government, to bring in a Bill on the subject. He might say that under the Railway and Canal Traffic Bill of this year Returns would be received from the Canal Companies of the United Kingdom which would throw light which they did not now possess on the traffic of these canals, and the terms on which they could be bought, if their purchase were thought desirable. The subject could not be properly considered until they had these Returns.