§ 33. Mr. Patrick Maitland
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will appoint a committee to investigate the related problems of water control, flooding, soil erosion and mineral subsidence in the valley of the Clyde, and to examine the desirability of establishing a Clyde Valley Catchment Board.
§ Mr. Snadden
As was indicated in a previous reply on 17th December, 1953, my right hon. Friend considers that the setting up of a catchment board for the Clyde Valley at this stage would be premature. The difficulty in regard to the Clyde area, as elsewhere in Scotland where flooding conditions exist, is the present lack of legislative powers to carry out remedial works, and an investigation of the technical questions involved would not in itself open up the way to a solution of the problem.
§ Mr. Maitland
Is my hon. Friend aware that if we pressed ahead on the technical preparations and were able to assemble the hydrographic data now it would be possible to press on with remedial measures later on? At present, no single body has power to inquire into the relative factors throughout the Clyde Valley. Will he have another look at this matter?
§ Mr. Snadden
It would not be practicable for us to set up a committee to examine the problems of the Clyde alone. There are other areas in Scotland where 1598 flooding takes place, and to set up a committee with a remit for the whole of Scotland would raise very great difficulties. I think we should wait.