HC Deb 08 November 1932 vol 270 cc164-5

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the decision of the Glasgow Corporation to allow 35,000,000 gallons of sewage to enter the River Clyde per day without chemical treatment; and whether the Department of Health intend to take any action?


I pre- sume that the hon. Member's question refers to the sewage discharge from the Dalmuir Sewage works of the Corporation of Glasgow. I am informed that while the chemical treatment at one point in the process of purification has been discontinued, the methods hitherto followed otherwise remain unchanged. As regards the latter part of the question, the matter is not one in which the Department of Health can take any action unless a nuisance were to arise in the sense of the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1897. In that event the question of remedial measures would fall to be considered in the first instance by the Public Health Department of the Corporation.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the opinion of the Manager of this Department between now and May no less than nine tons of solid matter will have sunk to the bed of the Clyde and will in time become settled?


I am not aware of that fact, but I am aware that during the War—during, I think, the whole course of the greater part of the War—there was a similar discontinuance of the chemical processes without prejudicial results following, as far as I am aware.


Does the hon. Gentleman wish the House to believe that because this state of things existed during the War it justifies the poisoning of the waters of the Clyde at this time?


I do not think we need enter into this question at all. I merely say that this particular state of affairs has occurred before as far as I know without inconvenience to the lieges, and consequently I wish to make it perfectly clear, as I stated, that this is primarily not a. matter for the Department of Health unless a nuisance occurs, and as far as I am aware no such nuisance occurred during the War.

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