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Water Supply

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 3rd May 1944.

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Photo of Mr Henry Willink Mr Henry Willink , Croydon North

It will, obviously, differ from place to place. Some schemes are very costly, some fairly inexpensive. This is not a programme which can be brought into operation this year: it cannot affect our situation this year; but we regard it as an essential part of the general reconstruction programme. We want plans to be made, so far as they can be made, before the end of the war although I know that local authorities' staffs and consulting engineers are not at present available in such numbers as they normally are.

I hope that I shall not be out of Order if I say one or two words about the present situation. There is no water supply crisis at the moment, but we are suffering from the effects of three consecutive dry winters. The last winter, and particularly last March, was quite embarrassingly dry. We have adequate powers, and I shall not hesitate to use them, if necessary, for this very important purpose. We are in very close touch with the Service Departments, which have contributed their help, but, on the other hand, have embarrassed the water situation in some districts. The main town supplies are not in difficulty at present. The Metropolitan Water Board have not asked for any special steps to be taken. The real point is that we must all play our part.