HC Deb 21 April 1964 vol 693 cc1081-2
21. Miss Quennell

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what special studies his Department has undertaken on the water resources available to meet the commitments envisaged in paragraph 14 of Command Paper No. 2308.

Mr. Corfield

One of the Department's senior engineering inspectors conducted a special water survey of the area covered by the South-East Study. Appendix I of the Study is based on his findings.

Miss Quennell

Surely the recommendations in the Study itself emphasise the need for advanced planning? Surely my hon. Friend is aware that there is considerable delay between planning and executing a major water undertaking? In the area the water resources are already under pressure. In view of the rising consumption per head, is it not vital that planning should be performed well in advance of the provision of water resources for the rising population of the district?

Mr. Corfield

Of course that is so, but nevertheless there was a great deal of information that the potential water supplies are available before the South-East Survey was undertaken, and it is clear from the conclusions which were reached that there are no insuperable obstacles to providing the necessary water in these circumstances.

Mr. Lubbock

In view of the estimate that capital works amounting to £68 million will be needed for water in South-East England, what estimate has the hon. Gentleman made of the reduction which might have been possible if a further 1 million people from other regions of Britain were not to be accepted there?

Mr. Corfield

I am sure the hon. Member appreciates that this expected immigration is not confined to other regions of Britain. The question he poses is a different question, but if he puts it on the Order Paper I shall do my best to answer it.