Water Division (Administration)

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th November 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Temple Mr John Temple , City of Chester 12:00 am, 24th November 1964

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether all the functions of the Water Division of his Department as constituted in the last Parliament are to be administered by his Department as now constituted, having regard both to the position in England and in Wales; and whether he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

As regards Wales I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 19th November. He will make a statement in due course about the responsibilities of the Minister of Land and Natural Resources which will relate to water among other matters.

Photo of Mr John Temple Mr John Temple , City of Chester

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that he has not answered my Question with regard to England at all? Is he aware that his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales would take over all the responsibilities of that Department in Wales, and does he not agree that the river authority boundaries transcend national boundaries between England and Wales? Would it not be a disaster if the functions were divided between two senior Ministers?

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it would be a disaster if any quick decision were made about the boundaries in these matters. Therefore, it is important to consider them. That is why my right hon. Friend is taking some time in considering his statement.