HC Deb 22 March 1938 vol 333 cc980-1
26. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the lack of any safe and adequate water supply at Sand Street, Coulregrein, near Stornoway; and what steps he proposes to take in the near future in the interest of the health and convenience of the people of the district?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware that complaints have been made about the water supply at present used by the inhabitants of Sand Street, Coulregrein, and the Department of Health has from time to time made representations to the county council on the matter. I am informed that the county council have decided that the formation of a special water supply district and the provision of a water supply is not feasible owing to the very low rateable value of the area.

Mr. MacMillan

What does the county council intend to do in the matter, in the interests of public health?

Mr. Elliot

That is a question that ought to be addressed to the county council.

Mr. MacMillan

Will the right hon. Gentleman address it to the county council?

27. Mr. MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the water supply at Smerclett, South Uist, has for several years been contaminated, inadequate, and inconvenient, and has been condemned by the medical officer; and what plans are at present under way for providing a proper and ample water supply?

Mr. Elliot

I am informed that the water supply at Smerclett has been reported to be unsatisfactory. A scheme was drawn up by the Inverness County Council in 1934 for providing a gravitation water supply for this township but it was found that the burden on the ratepayers would be prohibitive and the scheme was abandoned. The question of a supply for the township will come under review by the engineers appointed by the county council who are presently carrying out a survey of water supply needs in the islands within the county.

Mr. Levy

Does the Minister not think it is about time that there was a standard of purity for water supply?

Mr. Davidson

Will not the right hon. Gentleman and his Department force the hand of these local people in the interests of what to him and to others must be a menace to public health?

Mr. Elliot

We must await the report of the engineers.