Barrage Schemes (Investigations)

Oral Answers to Questions — Land and Natural Resources – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire 12:00 am, 10th May 1965

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources if he will make a sum of money available to Strathclyde University and to universities in England to enable them to investigate the Solway and Morecambe barrage schemes.

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

Not at this stage. The Water Resources Board is now conducting feasibility studies into the Morecambe Bay barrage project and jointly with the Scottish Office, into that for Solway Firth. We must first see how these studies progress.

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that three Ministries have been making enthusiastic statements about these barrages for six months but that not a penny has been made available to the universities to set up study groups?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

I am anxious to encourage co-operation with the universities, but in this particular case we have feasibility studies in hand and we must see how they go. These are properly with the Water Resources Board and the engineering consultants.

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson Sir Godfrey Nicholson , Farnham

Is the Minister aware that in Morecambe Bay there are millions of shrimps? Who will watch their interests?

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some study groups, particularly the one at Strathclyde University, are willing to move now if the Minister will give them the money?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

We must decide, first, whether this project is feasible. Studies are in train to determine whether that is so. When that is determined we will certainly look to further studies.