HC Deb 13 August 1940 vol 364 cc625-6W
Sir G. Fox

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the demand for cement for military purposes of all kinds, he will advise the suspension of all new civil road-making unless this is absolutely essential?

Sir J. Reith

Only road works which are urgently needed are being continued and even then the use of cement is kept to a minimum.

Sir G. Fox

asked the Minister of Agriculture the amount of granted priority certificates for the supply of cement to be used for constructing roads in the Fenland; whether such certificates for the supply of steel have equally been granted, and, if so, to what extent; what amount of gravel is needed for the purpose; and whether this road-making scheme is regarded as appropriate in war-time?

Mr. T. Williams

Considerable areas of fen-land are at present derelict, or in a low state of cultivation, due to the absence of hard roads. I can assure my hon. Friend that it is in the national interest that suitable roads should be constructed as soon as possible, so that this essentially fertile land can make its proper contribution to the food production campaign. Work on the first scheme was started some weeks ago, and the contract was placed on the urgency list, thereby ensuring the release of the necessary supplies of cement, amounting to about 1,000 tons in all. A permit has been issued by the Ministry for the supply of 60 tons of reinforcing steel, and the amount of gravel required for the road is approximately 4,000 tons.