HC Deb 09 February 1960 vol 617 cc214-5
21. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware of the periodical floods and droughts being experienced in various parts of the country; and if he will take steps to set up a committee to inquire into their prevention by conserving the national water supply, and dredging and clearing rivers and waterways so that the surplus water can be carried off during the rain seasons.

Mr. H. Brooke

Parliament has laid on the river boards the responsibility for reducing flooding by all reasonable means, which, of course, includes improving and maintaining main river channels. As regards droughts, my Central Advisory Water Committee is at work on the conservation of water, the growing demand for it, and the case for regulating abstractions. All these matters are, therefore, in hand, and I would not favour setting up another committee.

Mr. Awbery

Does not the Minister recall that, during last summer, the country suffered a severe drought, drinking water was cut off in many towns, and the reservoirs were at their lowest level for many years, yet, two months later, there were floods in the very same places? Could not he do something to solve the problem of alternating drought and flood?

Mr. Brooke

I am not God.

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