HC Deb 28 July 1959 vol 610 cc301-2
28. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken to deal with the pollution of the River Esk.

Mr. Maclay

The connection of a number of sewage works to the new Esk Valley Regional Sewer has already made a considerable reduction in pollution in the river. I understand that the Lothians River Purification Board is doing all it can to secure a progressive reduction in pollution from other sources.

Mr. Willis

Is the Secretary of State aware that this river is still very much of an open sewer and, I should have thought, a bit of a danger to public health? Whilst we are glad that the matter is being considered, is it not really time, after all these years have passed, that we got some action about it?

Mr. Maclay

I know that there is still a long way to go, but the hon. Member probably knows enough about sewage to know that river effluents are extremely difficult to deal with. I have personal knowledge of these matters in certain areas. This is a very difficult problem, which local authorities and all concerned are valiantly trying to overcome.