§ Motion made, and Question proposed. That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
Perhaps I may continue my conversation with the Joint Parliamentary Secretary by inviting him to examine the Clause and add the point I am going to make to the one he has already noted for future reference. It appears to many of us that an early opportunity should be taken to enable highway authorities to maintain stiles on footpaths. This question has been somewhat obscure in the past, and I very much hope that the hon. Gentleman and his Ministry will agree that the time has come for it to be cleared up, and that if the footpaths themselves are to be maintained, the stiles, which are an inherent and natural part of them, should also be maintained, again for the laudable object of encouraging more people to use footpaths, thus keeping off the roads and reducing the number of accidents.
§ Mr. Nugent
I shall be very happy to take note of the hon. Member's suggestion that stiles should be maintained by highway authorities. Perhaps I should also include kissing gates which can provide a pleasant incident on footpaths through the country, especially in the summertime. What will lie in store for us as a result of these considerations I cannot promise, but I will certainly see that note is taken of the hon. Member's suggestion.
§ Mr. Ede
I hope that among other things which will be noted in this connection will be the desirability of seeing that any means of progress over a stream is properly maintained. There is no better way to destroy a footpath than to remove the plank, or whatever means of crossing the stream is available, and then to say that no one uses the path. Obviously, such a means of progress is as important as either a stile or a kissing gate.
§ Mr. Nugent
I shall be glad to remember that, too. I have in mind particularly some stepping stones which serve an admirable purpose in the River Mole in the 313 Mickleham Valley, with which the right hon. Gentleman has something to do, and that perhaps is the best way of crossing shallow streams.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clauses 45 to 63 ordered to stand part of the Bill.