Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has completed his investigation into the scheme put before him by the County Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent for widening and deepening the waterways from the Mersey to the Potteries, as recommended by the Royal Commission on Canals and Waterways in 1909; and whether he is prepared to support the scheme, financially and otherwise, as a means for securing employment for large numbers of men who will otherwise be idle during the coming winter?
§ Mr. GOSLING
As my hon. Friend is well aware, the proposals outlined by the Stoke Corporation would require Private Bill legislation and could not in any cir-2090W cumstances provide work during this winter. The Government are considering whether they can offer special assistance to canal schemes in connection with a proposal for improving navigation between Birmingham and the Bristol Channel which is more advanced than that referred to in the question. As soon as a decision is reached on this point I will communicate with the Corporation of Stoke-upon-Trent.