§ 29. Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter
asked the Minister of Health whether he will take immediate steps to see that some of the large number of unemployed in the building trade are utilised to lay the necessary piping and build suitable reservoirs for giving Watlington a pure and efficient water supply; and whether this water supply for Watlington and neighbouring hamlets will be treated as an urgent matter in the interests both of the inhabitants and of the evacuees?
§ Mr. Elliot
I have under consideration the report of my inspector who held the recent inquiry into this scheme and will give my decision on it as soon as possible. I do not anticipate any difficulty in obtaining the necessary labour for the scheme.
§ Sir Robert Tasker
Will my right hon. Friend remember that there are more than 500,000 men unemployed in the building industry?
§ Mr. Elliot
I am aware of that, and also that the number is considerably less than it was at the same period last year.
§ 38. Sir M. Sueter
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the evidence given at the public inquiry held on Wednesday, 10th January, 1940, in connection with the proposed water supply for Wallington, Oxon; that of 35 samples of water taken in 1935, analysis showed that three out of every seven were so polluted as to be unfit for use as a domestic supply; what are the facts with regard to epidemics in Watlington; what indication of the incidence of intestinal troubles is given by medical reports; how many evacuated persons Watlington is supposed to take; and what steps he is taking to ensure that both evacuees and the inhabitants of Watlington shall not have to drink polluted water?
§ Mr. Elliot
The reply to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I have examined the annual reports of the Medical Officer of Health for the last five years, but I have no evidence from these or other sources of the occurrence of epidemics or of unusual incidence of 766 intestinal troubles in Watlington. In the evacuation arrangements special account was taken of the water difficulties at Watlington and the latest returns show 86o official evacuees only in the whole Bullingdon Rural District Council area. It is open to the local authority to distribute such small numbers over the district without utilising any accommodation available in the parish of Watlington. I have under consideration a scheme of water supply for Watlington.