HC Deb 05 February 1941 vol 368 c921
19. Mr. Loftus

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will consider taking over the canal system of Great Britain for the duration of the war and placing it directly under the Ministry of Transport with a separate unified control independent of the railways?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I have under consideration an investigation into the carriage of traffic on the canals and inland waterways, but I am not yet in a position to make any statement on the subject.

Mr. Loftus

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that the whole of our canal system was taken over in the last war by the Government, and is it not a fact that if our canal system were efficient, it would relieve a great many of our present transport difficulties?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

Of course, I am aware of the first part of the Supplementary Question, or the implication of it; as for the second, I am extremely conscious of the fact that our canal system wants tuning up, and I am gradually becoming very barge-minded.

Mr. Shinwell

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that if our canal system is to be of any use for war purposes, his investigation and decisive action must be speeded up?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

It has been going on during the last weeks.