§ 39. Sir M. WOOD
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the difficulties encountered in providing adequate water supplies in rural districts; whether he is aware that by the derating of agricultural and other subjects consequent on the passing of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1929, the rateable value of many rural districts has been so diminished as to be incapable of supporting the cost of appropriate water schemes; and whether he will consider the advisability of trying to meet the difficulty by providing, by legislation or 639 otherwise, for the promotion of regional water schemes over large areas?
§ Sir G. COLLINS
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the remaining parts, the provision of water facilities in rural areas owing to the high cost involved has always been a matter of difficulty, and in order to cope with this problem provision was made in Section 33 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1929, enabling a county council to give financial assistance towards the cost of water supplies in special districts which could not reasonably be expected to bear the burden unaided. In view of representations made to me on the subject, I am having the whole matter examined.
§ Sir M. WOOD
Has my right hon. Friend's attention been drawn to the increased difficulties which have been caused in regard to this matter by the De-rating Act?
§ Sir G. COLLINS
My attention has been called to that specific point during the last fortnight, and that is why a week ago I started having inquiries made on the subject.
§ Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE
Is it the view of the Liberal party that rates should be reimposed on agricultural land?