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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 Sir Joseph Lamb Sir Joseph Lamb , Stone

I say that in the ultimate it would have to be compulsion, but, if compulsion is so very wide and drastic, there might be an immediate process which might give the desired result. One of the greatest grievances which agriculture has had to face in the past has been the absence of an adequate water supply. They have constantly seen those who are providing the large cities and towns with water taking that water from their areas, in many cases, as I know from my own experience, diminishing the supply of an area, without compensation and often accentuating the shortage of water in the particular area. Many times they make use of agricultural land for the transit of water from large areas to other populations and refuse to supply water to the people through whose land they are transporting the water. These grievances have existed for a long time and in so far as the White Paper and the proposed legislation will have the effect of mitigating that grievance, I certainly support the Motion. May I remind the Minister that legislation on this subject will be judged by its results. If it is found that it is not drastic enough, our present welcome to the White Paper will be somewhat diminished, and we shall demand greater and more efficacious treatment of the water supplies in the rural districts, which should be available for their own use.