HC Deb 29 April 1964 vol 694 cc385-6
18. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has now been made in the purification of the River Esk, Midlothian.

Mr. Noble

There is now very little pollution from sewage. Industrial discharges are still giving considerable trouble, but the Lothians River Purification Board hopes that additional plant installed by the paper mills will reduce substantially pollution from these sources.

Mr. Willis

Is the Secretary of State aware that his answer is practically the same as the answer which I received two years ago? Of course, the sewerage scheme undertaken by public authorities has contributed to the clearing of the river, but is he aware that it is still in a very bad condition? Is he satisfied that the river purification boards have sufficient powers to clear it?

Mr. Noble

I think the hon. Gentleman at leant acknowledges that the part of the problem relating to sewage has been considerably improved. As I am sure he realises, it would be very easy to clear the whole of the problem by closing down the paper mills, but I am equally certain that is not what the hon. Gentleman would want.