HC Deb 30 March 1910 vol 15 cc1300-1

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before allocating the Development Grant and pending the opportunity of Parliament, dealing with the Report of the Canal Commission, he would favourably consider the advisability of granting the sum required to survey the route and to estimate the cost of extending the Weaver Navigation the twenty miles from Winsford to the Potteries, as recommended by the expert witnesses before the Commission, and as forming the first section in the cross canals recommended to join up the Midlands with the Mersey, the Humber, the Severn, and the Thames?


I am afraid I cannot see my way to adopt the hon. Member's suggestion. The matter, as my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary stated on the 23rd inst., is primarily one for the Development Commission when it has been constituted.


May I ask when the Commissioners will be appointed, as we were promised on the Third Reading of the Bill last year that the names were to be given within two or three days after that date?


I can assure the Noble Lord that it is really a rather difficult matter. It is very important we should secure Commissioners who will command general confidence. I am in consultation even with his own friends with regard to the class of men who would appeal to them, and I think it is very desirable we should get a body of men, when they are to dispense patronage of £900,000 a year, who should command general confidence, and therefore I am taking my time over it, and I think I shall be justified.

Mr. H. A. WATT

May I ask whether the Development Grant is in any way contingent upon the passing of the Budget of last year?


The Development Bill has passed, but the cash depends upon the Finance Bill and that is very important.