§ 52. Dr. HUNTER
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he proposes to take any steps during the present summer to protect valuable agricultural land in the lower reaches of the Nith valley from further destruction by flooding?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Westwood)
The surveys and inquiries necessary for the preparation of a draft scheme under Section 3 of the Land Drainage (Scotland) Act, 1930, to provide protection against flooding of lands in the lower reaches of the River Nith are being actively carried out by the Department of Agriculture for 1971 Scotland, but, having regard to the work involved and to the procedure laid down by the Act, I regret that no definite statement can be made as to the probable date by which the scheme, if proceeded with, could be put into operation.
§ Dr. HUNTER
Can the hon. Gentleman say that there will be no unavoidable delay in dealing with this matter, as seven individuals have suffered great personal loss within recent years by flooding in this area?
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I am aware of the fact that at least two farms, representing the thrift and the capital of those who own and work them, have been partially destroyed as a result of floods during the last few years, and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that no unnecessary delay will take place in speeding up the procedure and, if possible, carrying through schemes to avoid such a thing happening in the future.