§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Sir G. COLLINS
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
This is a simple departmental Bill to enable local authorities to spread the repayment of the money which they borrow 1831 for public works and water supply and sewers over 60 years. It is a purely non-controversial Bill, and will help certain local authorities in. Scotland.
§ 10.38 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I have no objection to the Bill passing, and I do not object to the principles contained in it, but I wish to ask a question with regard to sewerage disposal. The Secretary of State for Scotland knows that, particularly on the Clyde, there has been a good deal of controversy for a number of years because Glasgow, being a big city, has met its obligations with regard to sewerage disposal. I understand that the Bill make the borrowing for sewerage purposes easier than has been the case, and that therefore town councils, and particularly burghs which have not such adequate resources as the city of Glasgow, which have been precluded from carrying out sewerage schemes may now be able to do so. There are such places as Paisley and other parts. Whereas Glasgow carried out sewerage schemes, other towns continued to put sewerage into the main river. Now that the funding of debt is to be extended for 60 years, and will therefore make borrowing easier, I would ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends in the near future, with the backing of the new Bill, to take any steps to see that these small authorities in different parts of Scotland who have not seen fit to adopt proper sewerage schemes now do so.
I am sure that the Secretary of State for Scotland will agree that there are many places without sewerage schemes. They are not merely hindering their own town, but they are having terrible effects on towns that have spent money on sewerage schemes. This Bill will be of little value unless active steps are taken to see that those towns that have not entered into sewerage commitments enter upon them at an early date. The Secretary of State for Scotland already has executive power to see that local authorities do this, and I would ask him, alongside his Bill, to exercise the executive power that he possesses and to see that in regard to sewerage, the small towns particularly are brought to a much better position than they are in at the present time.
§ 10.41 p.m.
§ Sir G. COLLINS
The Bill will enable local authorities to do the work which the hon. Member mentions, and I will take every available step possible, by way of encouragement and pressure, to impress those local authorities which are not moving in this direction to proceed with schemes, so that the sewage problem throughout Scotland may be dealt with.