HL Deb 15 December 1982 vol 437 cc707-8WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have a view on the desirability or otherwise of completing the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal; whether the project is or is not moving ahead; and, if it is, what rules are proposed for the regulation of East European shipping, and for the prevention of possible environmental, commercial and other damage to British and other West European interests.

The Earl of Avon

The decision to proceed with the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal is entirely a matter for the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which has recently announced its intention to provide funds with a view to completion of the link. The Central Rhine Commission, of which the United Kingdom is a member, has adopted an Additional Protocol to the Revised Convention for Rhine Navigation (Cmnd 8309) and is currently preparing a regulation under it dealing with Rhine "cabotage", defining those vessels which are deemed to belong to Rhine navigation and establishing their trading rights, in order to safeguard West European interests on the Rhine.