HC Deb 03 June 1924 vol 174 cc1064-5
64. Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has received representations regarding the desirability of improving the inland waterway between Bristol and Birmingham; whether he will state the approximate cost of the improvement proposed; whether other schemes for improving this waterway have been prepared, including that for the Royal Commission on Canals and Waterways, that for the Ministry of Transport Waterways Committee, and that which has recently been placed before him; whether these schemes differ in their engineering details and cost; and whether he will institute an inquiry into the merits of each scheme in respect to engineering design, cost, and feasibility before recommending financial assistance from State funds to wards any scheme in accordance with the usual practice in such cases?


I have received representations on this subject from the Birmingham Corporation and several other local bodies. The cost of their scheme which is, I understand, based on the previous proposals to which the hon. Member refers, is estimated at about £2,500,000 exclusive of engineering and legal expenses, and the cost of purchasing the undertakings of the existing waterway authorities, which it is proposed to transfer to a public trust. I have not yet received detailed particulars of the present proposals, which would certainly have to be thoroughly examined before any pledge of Government financial assistance could be given.


Does the Minister of Transport propose to institute an inquiry ii the Corporation of Birmingham supplies him with the details?


I am going fully into the matter, and I may be able to say more about it later on.


Has the hon. Gentleman not got all the particulars necessary to form a decision?


Not yet.