HC Deb 05 July 1944 vol 401 cc1140-1
25. Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any plans for improving the lay-out of Bathurst and Freetown.

Colonel Stanley

A scheme has been made, under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, 1940, to provide expert staff to prepare plans and estimates for the improvement of living conditions in Bathurst, and the consequential development of the Province of Kombo St. Mary. The Gambia Government will have the advice of Major Maxwell Fry, Town Planning Adviser for West Africa, who has already visited the Gambia to discuss this scheme. As regards Freetown, steps were taken in 1941 to acquire lands required for the creation of town planning areas, but detailed planning of the slum clearance and rehousing scheme contemplated has to be reconciled with the postwar requirements of the Service authorities, with whom local consultations are taking place. A member of the town planning adviser's staff has recently been collecting data in Freetown, with a view to the preparation of a plan for the whole area affected.

Miss Ward

Is it possible for my right hon. and gallant Friend to give the date when all these improvements will be carried out?

Colonel Stanley

One of the necessary preliminaries to that would be to fix a date when the war will end.

Mr. Petheriek

In view of the very bad lay-out and construction of Bathurst, will the requisite funds be available in due course for the entire rebuilding of the place?

Colonel Stanley

There are very elaborate plans, which entail moving a very large part of Bathurst. I have given this grant for the preliminary investigations, and certainly a final grant will be very favourably considered.