HC Deb 09 February 1955 vol 536 c1888
45. Mr. F. M. Bennett

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he has now received the proposals of the British Transport Commission for abandoning the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir.

Mr. Bennett

Does my right hon. Friend not find it a little odd that notice of abandonment was at least given to my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Mr. Hurd) as long ago as 14th December? When this information finally reaches my right hon. Friend and he considers it, will he bear in mind two factors: first, that large sums of money have already been spent in rehabilitating this canal in the last year or two and, secondly, that at a recent meeting between hon. Members of all parties and senior officers of the Transport Commission exactly contrary assurances to abandonment were given to us?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

When the matter comes before me, I will certainly bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said. There are only two ways in which it would be open to the Commission to abandon its statutory obligations in respect of this waterway. One is by a warrant and order of abandonment under the Railway and Canal Water Act, 1888, as amended, and the other by Private Bill proceeding.

Mr. Ede

Does any reference to this Bill occur in the Rusholme Report?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There is some reference to it. The right hon. Member will forgive me for not being too precise without notice, but my recollection is that it refers to parts of it in different ways.

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