HC Deb 05 December 1973 vol 865 cc1251-2
20. Mr. Roy Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will pay an official visit to Bristol.

Mr. Rippon

I have at present no plans to do so.

Mr. Hughes

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the West Dock scheme was originally estimated to cost just over £13 million and is now costing over £20 million? Is this yet another attempt by the Prime Minister to cut prices at a stroke? Was not the decision to authorise this scheme politically motivated from the start? Should not the investment have gone to the South Wales ports, which over the last decade have enjoyed the best profit record of ports in the British Isles?

Mr. Rippon

I realise that there were criticisms of this scheme in South Wales political circles. I do not think I need go to Bristol in order to ascertain that.

Mr. Robert Cooke

Will my right hon. Friend resist this belly-aching from South Wales and judge on its merits any scheme that Bristol cares to submit?

Mr. Rippon

Yes, Sir.

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