HL Deb 19 March 1957 vol 202 cc589-90

2.35 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what priority they can now accord to capital expenditure on water under-takings, seeing that the "credit squeeze" has cut this from £30 million per annum from 1946 to 1954 down to £24 million currently, although industrial uses of water are rapidly increasing and drought years will again recur.]


My Lords, schemes for water supply were not exempted from the restrictions on capital expenditure which it was necessary to impose last year, but the curtailment has not been as severe as my noble friend suggests. I will, with my noble friend's permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the annual amounts of capital expenditure on water supply since the war. Her Majesty's Government fully recognise the importance of water supply, and the noble Lord may be assured that the essential needs of industrial users and other consumers are met.

Following are the figures referred to:

Authorised capital expenditure on water supply in the post-war years has been as follows:

£ million
1946 to 1950 13.1 (annual average)
1951 19.5
1952 20.5
1953 15.8
1954 21.1
1955 27.6
1956 23.8