HC Deb 09 December 1964 vol 703 cc1532-3
15. Mr. Alasdair Mackenzie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when work will be started on a permanent replacement for the temporary Bailey bridge on the A.9 road at Conon Bridge.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

My right hon. Friend is seeking powers to build the bridge. The design work for the bridge and the making of a Trunk Road Order are expected to take at least a year. We hope, therefore, that work will start early in 1966.

Mr. Mackenzie

Will the hon. Member remember that this Bailey bridge has been in existence for eight years and that it was made necessary because of the heavy traffic going to Dounreay, and also that. the Counties of Caithness and Sutherland were given all the bridges necessary to carry that traffic? Will he bear in mind the special circumstances that apply at Conon Bridge.

Dr. Mabon

Yes. It is because I am aware of that, and also because we have a new Administration which is anxious to remedy many of the these difficulties, which have persisted for 13 years under the Government of the party opposite, that we are most anxious to proceed with this matter. My right hon. Friend is winning the battles in the Cabinet for road bridges such as this.

Mr. Noble

If that is so, will the hon. Gentleman tell us why his hon. Friend, when answering a supplementary question just now, said that all that we wanted for Scotland was a fair share on a population basis?

Dr. Mabon

I am surprised at the right hon. Gentleman, with all his knowledge, quarrelling over a phrase like that. It is the fact that we are arguing the case on a population basis and, as my hon. Friend said in her concluding remarks, on a basis of need. This work we shall pursue with more success—I say this in all modesty— than the right hon. Gentleman and his predecessors.