HC Deb 14 March 1962 vol 655 cc1311-2
34. Sir W. Teeling

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will provide an interim report on the progress being made in the Franco-British inter-Governmental discussions about the Channel tunnel before Parliament rises for the Summer Recess.

Mr. Hay

My right hon. Friend will be glad to report to the House on this subject as soon as he is in a position to do so, but I can make no promises at present on when that will be.

Sir W. Teeling

I realise that the Minister cannot report until he has something to report on, but will my hon. Friend bear in mind that on the south coast of this country and the north-west coast of France a great many plans and projects are being held up because no clue is being given one way or the other about what is going to happen?

Mr. Hay

We are well aware of the desirability of coming to an early decision on this matter, but since this is the subject of international discussion and consideration, we have to bear in mind that we are not the sole deciders of how fast we can go.

Mr. H. Hynd

In view of the urgency of the matter because of the increased cross-channel traffic and the possibility of our going into the Common Market, in which case a Channel tunnel will be more important than ever, are the Government taking the initiative?

Mr. Hay

Yes, Sir; I think it could certainly and properly be said that we have taken the initiative in this matter throughout.

Sir C. Taylor

Is my hon. Friend aware that if we are to have a permanent link with the Continent many people would prefer a bridge to a tunnel?

Mr. Hay

We are well aware that that is a point of view which is widely held. It is one of the factors in our consideration of the whole matter.

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