HC Deb 03 July 1958 vol 590 cc1575-6
39. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total sum so far expended in Wales and in England, respectively, under the Agriculture (Improvement of Roads) Act, 1955.

Mr. Godber

At 30th June, 1958, grants amounting to £48,753 and £17,316 had been paid to highway authorities in Wales and England, respectively. The cost of work already approved, however, is £458,000, involving eventual payment of grant of approximately £207,000 in Wales and £133,000 in England.

Mr. Gower

Is my hon. Friend aware that this reply is not really satisfactory? Will he take account of the fact that this Act was based on a Bill framed on the advice of the present Lord Kilmuir, then Minister for Welsh Affairs, to deal with what were admitted to be very serious conditions in North and Mid-Wales? In those circumstances, will more be done to implement this Act?

Mr. Godber

I am sorry that my hon. Friend feels that this Answer is insufficient, but I assure him that this is a matter which takes some time to get under way. While undoubtedly we were initially held up and are still held up to some extent by a shortage of funds, at the same time it is true that these matters take a considerable time first to plan and then to carry into effect. If my hon. Friend will study my Answer, he will see what cumulative effect is already being shown.

Mr. G. Thomas

Can the hon. Gentleman give any indication as to when the money that he estimates is going to be spent will be spent? How much does he expect to be spent during the next year?

Mr. Godber

In order to give the hon. Gentleman accurate figures, I would be grateful if he would put down a Question.