§ Mr. A. SHORT
asked the Minister of Transport whether the Port of London Authority is solely responsible for the development of the port; and, if so, whether, in view of the congestion at the docks and the inadequate facilities provided for our trade and commerce, he 1564W will appoint a committee to consider how far the policy of the authority is compatible with public needs, and what action, if any, should be taken to remedy the failure of the authority?
§ Mr. NEAL
The Port of London Authority is responsible for the development of the port, subject to the powers conferred on the Minister of Transport by Section 4 of the Ministry of Transport Act, 1919, under which the Minister may, if he considers that it is desirable in the national interest, call upon the Port of London Authority to carry out improvements or extensions or alterations in the method of working. In addition, under Section 7 (2) (i) of the Port of London Act, 1908, if the Port Authority revokes a licence for new works in the River Thames, or refuses to grant a licence for any such purpose on reasonable terms, there may be an appeal to the Minister of Transport against such decision of the Port of London Authority. The Port of London Authority are carrying out a considerable programme of additional works with the object of increasing the facilities of the port. The needs of trade and commerce under existing and future conditions are engaging the attention of the Ministry, and, in these circumstances, the Minister is of opinion that the appointment of a committee would be premature.