HC Deb 04 February 1926 vol 191 cc307-9
48. Mr. SHAW

asked the Prime Minister if a Report on the Severn barrage scheme has been presented by a scientific committee; whether such Report will be published; and if he can state the intentions of the Government with regard to the scheme referred to?

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of TRANSPORT (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon)

I have been asked to answer this question. The Sub-committee of the Committee of Civil Research, who recently considered this matter, have reported to the effect that a prima facie case has been established for undertaking further investigations with a view to determining whether the technical difficulties of constructing a Severn barrage can be surmounted, and this recommendation has been accepted by the Government. It is not proposed to publish the Report of this Sub-committee, which

much has been, paid in relief to persons unemployed during the same periods?


As a number of figures is involved, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the figures for England and Wales for the three, quarters ended September, 1925. I will send him the figures for the following quarter as soon as they are available. As regards figures for Scotland I would refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Scotland.

Following are the figures for England and Wales:

is not a scientific Committee, but when data have been accumulated I have no doubt that a Report will be published.


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that within a few miles of this proposed Severn barrage the City of Bristol is building enormous electric power stations at an initial cost of over £1,000,000, and if the Government have given permission for these to be built, why go on with the Severn barrage scheme, which will supply the same area?


The whole question of harnessing the tide in a country like this is so important.


May I ask the hon. and gallant Member if the Committee which is considering the matter has calculated, if they get the dam built and the amount of water held, what would be the equivalent in the displacement of coal?


All that I can tell the hon. Member—he can work out the details himself—is that the possibility from the point of view of power is in the neighbourhood of 300,000 kilowatts permanent.