§ Mr. MATTHEWS
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has considered the advisability of diverting a portion of the money allocated for the erection of new bridges to the building of chambered dams for future installations of water power plant for the generation and transmission of electricity; and whether it is now possible to substitute a chambered dam for the proposed new bridge on the Linghor estuary connecting Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire, to cost £60,000, having regard to the economic circumstance that electricity could be supplied at 40 per cent. less cost by water power than by coal, apart from the natural advantage of supplying neighbouring towns and industries with a cheap electrical supply?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
The only funds in the hands of the Minister of Transport available for contributions towards the cost of construction of bridges form part of the Road Improvement Fund, and it would not be competent to him to supply any part of this Fund to meet the increased cost incurred in order that a structure required as a road bridge should also serve as a dam. No application for a grant for such a purpose has been received from any public authority or undertaking. A grant from the Road Fund has been indicated towards the cost of construction of the bridge referred to in the second part of the question. A suggestion received from a private individual that the structure should include chambered dams has been carefully considered, but I am advised that the suggestion, from an engineering point of view, is fundamentally unsound.