HC Deb 22 February 1967 vol 741 cc1707-8
23. Mr. Monro

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he is having with the Hydro-Electric Board in order to reduce the risk of flooding below the Board's dams.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

The Board is taking part in the discussions to which my right hon. Friend referred in his reply of 8th February to the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston).—[Vol.740, c. 337.]

Mr. Hamilton

While thanking the Minister of State for that reply, may I ask whether he can say whether he will take powers to bring in a Bill enabling farmers and householders who suffer severe damage as a result of flooding to receive compensation?

Dr. Mahon

My right hon. Friend is reviewing the existing legislation which is included in the Land Drainage (Scotland) Act, 1958, and the Flood Prevention (Scotland) Act, 1961, to see whether any further powers for flood prevention are necessary.

Mr. G. Campbell

Is the Minister aware of the importance attached to this matter in areas which could be affected, and will he ensure that all practicable precautions will be taken?

Dr. Mabon

Yes. Although much of the flood warning system is primarily a local responsibility, my right hon. Friend will certainly consider, at the end of the discussions in the North, what needs to be said by him to the other resposible authorities.

Mr. Alasdair Mackenzie

Is the Minister aware that there is general satisfaction in the Conon Valley area at the way in which his Department has got down to work on the embankments there? Is he further aware that there is very grave concern about the future and that many people there are anxious to know what is being done to inquire into the causes of the flooding? Can we expect some decision shortly, as a result of the discussions now going on between the various Departments?

Dr. Mabon

My right hon. Friend is much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for his kind remarks in the first part of his supplementary question. I should like to assure him on behalf of my right hon. Friend, who has visited these areas and has this same experience that he is certainly anxious to know what the discussions will bring forward, so that he can consider the matter further.