HC Deb 25 January 1961 vol 633 cc164-5
25. Mr. Strauss

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has now reached a decision about the construction of the Victoria-Walithamstow underground line.

39. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement about the proposed Victoria underground line.

52. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport why he has refused to finance the cost of the Victoria Line extension to the London Underground Railway.

Mr. Hay

The British Transport Commission has sent us a further memorandum, with up-to-date estimates, on the construction of the Victoria-Walthamstow underground line. This is now under discussion between the Commission, the London Transport Executive and ourselves.

Mr. Strauss

May we have an assurance that there will not be a further delay of years before some decision is made on this all-important project? Is it not a fact that the matter has been before the Government for a very long time and that decisions have always been postponed? Will that happen again, or shall we have a final decision on the matter in the next month or two?

Mr. Hay

Obviously, I cannot without notice give any date for a decision on this matter. My right hon. Friend is most anxious to get a decision on the matter as soon as he can—and perhaps the right hon. Gentleman understands what I mean.

Mr. Lipton

Is the hon. Member aware that the Minister of Transport himself said that the restriction on private motoring in Central London would lead to more passengers being carried on public transport? That is what he said to the T.U.C. deputation the other day. If that is the Government's policy, surely it ought to be a Government decision to finance the cost of this Victoria line extension, otherwise it will never come to pass.

Mr. Hay

I was present when my right hon. Friend saw the members of the T.U.C. deputation and, from my own recollection, I know that he made no such statement. The second part of the question, therefore, does not seem to arise.

Mr. Strauss

Does the Minister's reply to me mean that the Minister of Transport is in favour of this proposal and that the Treasury is against it?

Mr. Hay

"In vain is the net spread in sight of the bird."