HC Deb 22 June 1927 vol 207 cc1857-8
57. Major OWEN

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he proposes during the present Session of Parliament to introduce legislation dealing with the inspection of dams, embankments and reservoirs?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)

A draft of a Bill is under consideration, but I cannot say at present whether I shall be in a position to introduce legislation this Session or not.

Major OWEN

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a Bill has already been introduced in the House and has had its First Reading and that there is no opposition to it from any side of the House; and will he give an opportunity for that Bill to be taken upstairs and passed this Session? It would take only a very short time.


I am afraid I cannot. That is not within my province. The Bill to which the hon. and gallant Member refers has not passed its Second Reading, and it cannot go upstairs until it has done so.

Major OWEN

Will the right hon. Gentleman persuade the Government to give facilities for the Second Reading of that Bill? It has been brought forward several times.


The Government cannot find time for the Second Reading of all Bills. The hon. and gallant Member was unlucky in the Ballot, and he merely brought in a Bill which was read a First time in the ordinary way. If it had been read a Second time, it would have gone before the Committee.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a very serious disaster involving about 20 lives occurred three years ago, and that succeeding complaints have been made to his Department as to the condition of other dams in the same district, and have any steps been taken by him for the protection of life?


I am fully aware of the facts, as the hon. Member knows, and I have drafted a Bill to deal with the matter. It is before the Cabinet now. The question is: How much legislation can we get through this Session?

Major OWEN

This Bill, which I introduced at the end of last Session, had the approval of the House on the First Reading. It again received the approval of the House and received a First Reading this Session. It will take only a very short time upstairs in Committee to pass this Bill.


This seems like a speech.