HC Deb 30 March 1960 vol 620 cc1306-7
14. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the Minister of Transport if he is now in a position to make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the proposed tunnel under the Channel.

Mr. Marples

No, Sir. I have only just received a copy of the International Study Group's report on the project.

Mr. Mallalieu

Is not the right hon. Gentleman prepared to say that if the report is favourable Her Majesty's Government's intentions towards the project will also be favourable? Would he not agree that the forging of links, both moral and spiritual, between ourselves and the Continent, and particularly between ourselves and our French neighbours, is extremely desirable, and that this would be such a link?

Mr. Marples

I think that anything that can increase the friendship and the unity between this country and Europe is desirable. However, the report arrived jess than 24 hours ago, and I do not think it unreasonable to ask for time to look at it.

Mr. Gower

Do not the proposals for the tunnel envisage only a railway? If such a vast project is eventually to be contemplated, should it not include a roadway as well as a railway?

Mr. Marples

I would rather not discuss the report until I have studied it closely, but it envisages two tunnels, one each way, for railways but not a roadway, the reason, I understand, being a technical one—the difficulty of ventilation.