HC Deb 17 April 1951 vol 486 cc1631-2
7. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the joint letter dated 6th April addressed to him by the Association of County Councils, the Scottish Counties of Cities Association and the Convention of Royal Burghs urgently requesting the postponement of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. T. Fraser

My right hon. Friend met representatives of the three associations this morning, and gave them an assurance that he would consider before the Committee stage of the Bill certain specific points which they made to him.

Mr. Stewart

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether that statement satisfied the local authorities he met?

Mr. Fraser

Yes, Sir, it did.

Mr. Rankin

Will my hon. Friend also bear in mind that local authorities have had over 50 years to deal with this problem of river pollution in Scotland, and that many of us feel that the sooner action is taken in the matter the better?

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

Will the Joint Under-Secretary of State disclose to the House, since this question is coming up for debate very soon, the lines of the objection put forward?

Mr. Fraser

We had a very, very useful discussion with the associations' representatives this morning. I do not want to weary the House by enumerating the suggestions that were then put forward, but no doubt my right hon. Friend will take the opportunity, when we have the Second Reading discussion, of explaining to the Committee fully what they were.

Mr. Hamilton

Will my hon. Friend tell the House whether he has had any representations from the Association for the Preservation of Rural Scotland about this matter, and will he take those considerations into account? I will send him a copy if he has not had one.

Mr. Fraser

We have had many representations, of course, from different associations who are very anxious to get the Bill through without any unnecessary delay.