HC Deb 27 January 1971 vol 810 cc540-1
23. Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether any conclusion has now been reached in his discussions with the local authorities on the financing of the Humber Bridge.

Mr. Graham Page

No conclusions have yet been reached. Officials of my Department will be meeting representatives of the Humber Bridge Board on 2nd February to discuss the extent of the Government's involvement in the financing of the bridge.

Mr. McNamara

I am glad that at last the Government seem to be taking some sort of interest in the project. Do the Government accept the need and desirability of the bridge in principle? Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that the discussion is going to be only about how the money is to be raised and not about the question whether there should be a bridge?

Mr. Page

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Wall

Is my hon. Friend aware that the whole future of the Humber Bridge is being held up by the activities of two hon. Members opposite who have thought fit to block the Bill although they do not represent constituencies in the area?

Mr. Page

I do not think that I would agree on that. The Department is proceeding with the discussion of the financing of the bridge.

Mr. James Johnson

While denying point blank the allegation made by the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall), may I ask the Minister when we can expect the Humber Bridge Bill before the House? Is he aware that the Town Clerk and the Corporation are expecting the Second Reading perhaps this coming week? In view of the continuing inflation under the present Government, every month is important to the people of North Humberside, since every month means that the cost is higher. Will the hon. Gentleman kindly give us something definite about the legislation?

Mr. Page

I appreciate the urgency but the introduction of a Private Bill is not the responsiblity of the Government.