HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc1-2
2. Mr. Sparks

asked the Minister of Transport why no directive has yet been given to the British Transport Commission to facilitate and encourage transport and navigation for commercial and pleasure purposes upon the navigable canals and inland waterways.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Barnes)

In view of the general duty placed upon the British Transport Commission by Section 3 of the Transport Act, 1947, such a direction is unnecessary.

Mr. Sparks

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Railway Executive Committee, like the railway companies previously, appear to be placing a good deal of obstruction in the way of the use of the canals for transport and pleasure purposes? In view of the shortage of railway wagons and locomotives, will my right hon. Friend make some representations to see that the maximum use is made of the canals and inland waterways system of the country?

Mr. Barnes

I do not think obstruction can take place in the British Transport Commission's set-up. My hon. Friend knows that a special Executive is charged with the problem of fully utilising the ports, canals and inland waterways of this country, and therefore it is they who have jurisdiction over the canals. I have no reason to think that they will not be anxious to develop them to their fullest capacity.