§ 80. Mr. WEDGWOOD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received any representations as to the condition of the Harecastle tunnels on the Trent and Mersey Canal; whether he is aware that at present traffic may be interrupted causing loss to the trade of North Staffordshire; whether the Board of Trade can bring any pressure to bear upon the railway company owning the canal to proceed with the reconstruction of this canal; and, if not, will he advise the Development Commissioners as to the state of affairs and leave them to take the necessary steps to secure the permanence 420 of this trade route independently of the railway company?
I have received no recent representations with regard to these tunnels, but I am aware that they are liable to suffer from subsidences due to mining operations. I am not in a position to require the railway company to reconstruct the canal, and I understand that the case is not one in which an advance could be granted from the Development Fund.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Has the right hon. Gentleman seen reports from two engineers as to an alternative route, and will he approve of the Development Commissioners making a Grant for this purpose if approached by the local authorities?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Would the Development Commissioners be prepared to consider the construction of an alternative route?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member cannot ask what the Development Commissioners would do in certain circumstances.