§ 5. Major O'NEILL
asked the President of the Board of Trade what are at present the functions of the Road Board; whether its funds were diverted during the War to purposes other than the upkeep of the roads; and whether he proposes to take any, and, if so, what steps to secure the early repair of roads which have been damaged by heavy military traffic?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The present functions of the Road Board are those which were prescribed under the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act, 1909. The income of the Road Improvement Fund, so far as derived from the charge on 7 the Consolidated Fund under Section 90 of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, ceased as from August, 1915, under the provisions of Section 49 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, without prejudice to the disposal of moneys already accumulated in the Fund. The repair of roads damaged by heavy military traffic is taken charge of by the responsible highway authorities with the assistance of the Joint Roads Committee on which the Road Board and other Government Departments are represented. On this subject I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for South Down on the 19th February.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir F. HALL
Will the amount contributed by motor users and allocated to the Road Board be refunded for the purposes for which it was originally intended?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
As my hon. and gallant Friend knows those contributions ceased in 1915, and have been paid since into the general Exchequer for the purposes of the War. What may happen in the future I cannot tell, but my hon. Friend will remember that that particular duty depends upon the renewal of the Finance Act, and upon whatever final authority is constituted for the control of the roads after the passage of the Bill now before the House.