§ MR. HOBHOUSE
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the cost of improving a main road or county bridge can be defrayed partly at the cost of a county and partly at the cost of the highway district or parish in which the road or 1223 bridge is situate; if so, what authority can rate the district or parish for such purpose; and, if so, whether he will consider the desirability of amending the Law on the first opportunity, in order to facilitate such equitable and convenient arrangements?
§ *MR. RITCHIE
As regards a county bridge, under ordinary circumstances a Highway Authority would not be empowered to contribute towards the construction, or maintenance of such a bridge. Where, however, an entirely new structure is proposed, it might be practicable, under certain circumstances, to adopt the principle of joint contribution by the Highway Authority building the bridge and the County Council contributing to the cost under Section 22 of the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878. With regard to a main road, I do not think there is any way in which a Highway Authority can directly contribute towards the cost of the improvement of a main road. Although I am not prepared to give any undertaking as to proposing legislation on these matters, the point is one of which I will make a note in the event of any legislation on the subject of roads being proposed.