HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 cc106-7W
Mr. Woodhouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will appoint a public inquiry into the causes and effects of the recent pollution of the River Thames, with a view to taking steps to prevent a recurrence of the damage caused to public amenities, agriculture and wild life.

Mr. Peter Walker

No. The cause is known and the effects have been and are being monitored by the Thames Conservancy. During the recent strike of their manual workers, almost all local authorities succeeded by strenuous efforts in keeping their sewage treatment works in operation. As a result, damage was largely prevented. I have no doubt that they will review their contingency plans in the light of this experience and consider whether any better safeguards for the rivers are practicable. I do not consider that a public inquiry would serve any useful purpose.