§ LORD BINGLEY
asked His Majesty's Government what is the estimated number of houses in rural areas of England and Wales still without any piped water supply, and what steps are in prospect to reduce this number.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (THE EARL OF LISTOWEL)
The latest information available is that in 1943, approximately 740,000 houses in rural districts in England and Wales were without a piped supply of water under pressure into or on to the house. It is the policy of the Government to encourage the promotion, by local authorities, of schemes for the provision of piped water supplies to all sizeable groups of houses in rural areas where this is practicable at reasonable cost. Substantial grants towards the cost of this work are available from the Exchequer under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Act, 1944, and from county councils. Applications for grant have already been received from local authorities in England and Wales in respect of schemes estimated to cost some £7,400,000 and other schemes are known to be in course of preparation. The Government are encouraging local authorities to bring the schemes as quickly as possible to the stage at which tenders, may be invited, so that work on them can be put in hand as far as labour and materials are available. Since January of this year, authority has been given for the commencement of works to the value of nearly £1,000,000, for the provision of water supply in rural areas.
House adjourned at twenty-two minutes before seven o'clock.