Orders of the Day — Doncaster Area Drainage Bill.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 15th March 1929.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness , Bury St Edmunds

I think there is a case for giving representation to those who are directly liable to make payments. If the hon. Member can establish to the satisfaction of the Committee that there is a claim for the miners, I have no doubt that the Committee will be willing to consider it. We have taken the recommendation of the Special Commission and we have thought it desirable to give representation where it is needed, and that is to those who are paying, either by the special provision, or through the local authority, who represent those who will pay. On the question of the expenses of this Bill being recovered from the new authority, I would point out that this is a normal procedure. In connection with the various drainage orders and the proceedings before Select Committees, it is the universal practice, which is always endorsed by Parliament, that these Private Bills, where they throw expense on a public department, should be paid for by the area authority concerned.

The hon. Member asked about the enforcement of awards. These drainage awards are enforced where the people liable can be found, but there is great difficulty in the case of old awards in discovering those who have succeeded to the liability. We are making provision in this Bill to transfer to the new authority the responsibility for enforcing the liability. We are also giving powers to the new authority to take a money commutation where it is for the convenience of administration that the work shall be done by the authority and not by the individual who is formally responsible. I can assure the hon. Member that there is no suggestion in this Bill that the individuals who are responsible under the law for this particular maintenance work will be in any way let off. If there is a commutation, it will be for the full financial equivalent.