HC Deb 02 May 1944 vol 399 cc1211-2W
Mr. M. MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Scottish Department of Agriculture will now consider taking over roads in the Hebrides for whose maintenance its holders are responsible, or reconstruct them and ask the county councils to take responsibility for them for the future.

Mr. Johnston

The question of responsibility for the maintaining of access roads could not be considered in relation only to the cases of holdings upon Department of Agriculture property in the Hebrides. There are other ownerships and other areas where similar problems arise, not least of which, and certainly at the moment, is a serious labour shortage. If many individual holders were not themselves to fulfil these existing obligations it would be impossible to provide the labour required from other sources. Prior to the war a number of these roads were taken over by the County Councils as public highways, with financial assistance from the Department. I hope that after the war it may be possible to continue and to extend this policy.