§ 40. Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
asked the Minister of Transport the number of years which the expenditure of the present road programme is spread over; and whether it exceeds to any appreciable extent the programme in operation before June last year?
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Herbert Morrison)
The Trunk Road and Five Years Programmes inaugurated last year relate to works intended to be 1133 carried out by the local authorities over a period of five years. The answer to the latter part of the right hon. Member's question is in the affirmative.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Can the hon. Gentleman reconcile this reply with the recent statement of the late Chancellor of the Duchy?
§ 43. Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES
asked the Minister of Transport whether, in regard to the grants already made from the Road Fund to schemes involving an estimated expenditure of approximately £13,500,000 for improvements of classified roads, he will state whether the local authorities concerned can proceed to put the work in hand forthwith without further reference to the Ministry of Transport in respect of specifications, acceptance of tenders, or sanctions for loans?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
The grants made in respect of the schemes referred to by the hon. Member were issued to enable the local authorities concerned to put the work in hand forthwith. I am anxious to facilitate the operations of local authorities in every way, and to reduce formalities and delays wherever possible, but I do not think that the examination of specifications and other similar documents can be dispensed with, in cases where the documents were not available when the grant was issued, especially when it is remembered that the grants from public funds are so substantial. The sanction of my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Health, to a loan proposed to be raised by a local authority for defraying expenditure on road works is a statutory requirement.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Will the hon. Member see that in all these works proper tenders are sent out and accepted by the local authorities?
§ Mr. MORRISON
That is so. Before a local authority gets a tender it must prepare specifications, and we might as well have them at the same time.