HC Deb 16 February 1959 vol 600 c3
7. Sir A. Hurd

asked the Paymaster-General if he is satisfied, in view of the recent pipeline burst at the Padworth petroleum installation and the subsequent pollution of the River Kennet, that proper inspection of the pipeline is carried out frequently enough; and what was the estimated life of the installation when it was constructed under Government auspices in 1941.

Sir I. Horobin

The life of older pipelines such as those near the River Kennet depends upon local geological conditions and the physical stresses to which they are subjected. They are inspected, serviced and replaced as conditions demand. When in actual use they are regularly patrolled. Although these arrangements have in general proved satisfactory, I am having them reviewed in the light of the incident referred to.

Sir A. Hurd

Does my hon. Friend recall that there have been earlier instances of leakages from this petroleum pipeline which have caused serious trouble locally? Can he tell me how often in recent years the pipeline has been tested, to whom reports were made, and whether any action has been taken by his Department on these reports?

Sir I. Horobin

These are agency arrangements, but if my hon. Friend will get in touch with me I may be able to give him the details for which he asks.