HC Deb 29 June 1955 vol 543 c388
24. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when his inspectors of inland waterways last reported on the condition of the Kennett and Avon Canal; and if he will place a copy of this report in the Library of the House.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I have no inspectors of inland waterways.

Mr. Hurd

As my right hon. Friend's Department cannot, unfortunately and surprisingly, provide Parliament with expert information on the sad state of affairs in the Kennett and Avon Canal, will my right hon. Friend please arrange for an impartial inquiry to establish the reason why the canal is in a bad state and whether the British Transport Commission is fulfilling its obligation?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The question whether the Commission is fulfilling its legal obligation is one on which, in the circumstances of which my hon. Friend is aware, perhaps I ought not to express an opinion. As to Parliament obtaining further information, I have already informed my hon. Friend that a project relating to this canal may be in the next British Transport Commission Bill.

Mr. Nicholson

But is it not a fact that the way in which the Transport Commission deals with this canal by no means adds to its reputation?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That is largely a matter of opinion. I can well understand that people living in the neighbourhood of a very attractive canal of this sort can feel strongly about it, but the Commission is, after all, a transport undertaking, and its main duty is to assess the value of this canal and other canals as a means of transport.

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