Complete information is not available, but the following tonnages relate to the majority of canals and inland waterways (excluding estuarial rivers and the Manchester Ship Canal):
|Up to 11th September, 1955||…||8,950,000 (estimated).|
I have just received from the Commission, and am considering, its proposals for the develop- ment of those waterways which carry substantial traffic and which the Board of Survey recommended should be improved.
The Commission has also recommended that those waterways which in its view have insufficient commercial prospects to justify their retention for navigation should be transferred to other more suitable bodies. I have informed the Commission that this recommendation requires further study.
So far as the question of the closing of canals and waterways is concerned, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, painstaking as the Board no doubt was in going about its work, it was set up by the very body, namely, the British Transport Commission, which is responsible for their maintenance and which has not been keeping them all in a state of repair? Will my right hon. Friend consider, therefore, having a more independent inquiry before any action is taken?