HC Deb 02 March 1938 vol 332 cc1109-10
70. Mr. Mathers

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the inadequacy of the facilities at Kessock Ferry, linking the Black Isle with Inver ness; whether steps are being taken to improve the position; and whether he can make a statement on the matter?

Mr. Burgin

I am aware of the existence of complaints about the inadequacy of this ferry, but it is a private concern and I have no powers in regard to it. Local authorities are empowered by the Harbours, Piers and Ferries (Scotland) Act, 1937, to apply to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland for authority to accept the transfer of marine works on agreed terms or to acquire them compulsorily failing agreement. The question of the exercise of these powers in the present instance is one for the consideration of the local authorities concerned.

Mr. Mathers

Does not the Minister interest himself in a matter of this kind, which is of such great concern to the people in the area?

Mr. Burgin

I am aware of the importance of the ferry, and I am glad to see from Press reports that the private owner is said to have bought a boat which will carry vehicles. I have already said that I have no power in regard to the private ownership of this ferry.

Mr. M. MacMillan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a mere enabling Bill would be absolutely useless without some assistance from his Department?