§ 62. Mr. WATERSON
asked the Minister of Transport if it is his intention to develop the railway-owned canals of the country that are now derelict?
74. Lieut.-Colonel MALONE
asked whether any steps are being taken to improve the canal system in Essex?
§ Sir ERIC GEDDES
The future of all canals is engaging my attention, but hon. members will appreciate that it is intimately bound up with that of other means of transport, and cannot be considered as a separate problem. As has already been stated in reply to a question by he hon. Member for Lincoln, the matter has been submitted to the Cabinet. At its request I have undertaken the elucidation of certain points arising on my Report, and hope to report further upon them shortly.
§ Mr. BILLING
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the last General Election the Prime Minister made a special point of the fact that he would develop the canals of the country, and is it under his administration and advice that this policy is being altered?
§ 63. Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is yet in a position to state his intentions as to taking possession of canals under Section 3 of the Ministry of Transport Act?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
The whole subject of the position of the canals has been engaging my attention for a considerable time, and if any canal undertakers desire that 14 possession of the undertaking should be taken under the powers of the Ministry of Transport Act, I am prepared to favourably consider each case upon its merits upon application being made.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
May I ask why the right hon. Gentleman wishes to wait for applications, and why should he not take possession of all the independent canals which at present are controlled under D.O.R.A. and as provided by the Act?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
My desire was not to act in a coercive way at all, but to consider applications to take possession.