HC Deb 16 December 1947 vol 445 cc1593-4

Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 69.—(King's Recommendation signified.)

[Major MILNER in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purpose of any Act of the present Session to continue certain provisions of the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1945, to make permanent certain other provisions thereof, and otherwise to amend that Act; to amend, the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, as respects compensation for the taking of possession of land to make further provision, by the amendment of those Acts and otherwise, as respects the maintenance and use of certain oil pipe lines and the compensation therefor; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament——

  1. (a) of any increase in consequence of the said Act of the present session in the sums so payable under the said Act of 1939 or the said Act of 1945; and
  2. (b) of any other expenses incurred under the said Act of the present Session by a Minister of the Crown (including the Admiralty and the Board of Trade)."—[Mr. Glenvil Hall.]

8.9 p.m.

Mr. C. Williams

I do not think the Financial Secretary would wish this Motion to pass without my asking him a question about the approximate amount of money which is involved in relation to oil pipe-lines. I intended to raise this point during the previous Debate. I would like to have some information about the cost of annual maintenance. The Financial Secretary will remember that during the previous Debate there was a considerable amount of criticism of the way in which the oil pipe-lines were being kept, and I feel sure that he would like to put our minds at rest, first, that they are being properly looked after, and secondly, in regard to the amount of money involved.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I can give the hon. Gentleman this assurance: They are being looked after; but I am sorry that I cannot tell him the amount. We are working in this matter with a very large number of owners, and it is quite impossible, at this date, to indicate just what the cost will be. I can assure him that it will not be an extravagant cost, or any more than it would have been under the original Act,

Mr. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman keep me informed of the cost? So far as their being looked after is concerned, I know that they are being looked at, because an hon. Friend of mine informed me that he had looked at them, and nothing whatever was being done; their condition was very bad. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman, before the next stage of this Resolution, will, at any rate, be able to assure us that he has put someone to look after one particular point—that is to say, the end of the pipe-line, which was mentioned earlier. I was astonished that the Minister did not leap to his feet to deny the accusations made, and I would like an assurance that this matter is being looked into in view of those accusations.

Resolution to be reported Tomorrow.