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Quarries (Road Fund Grants)

Volume 159: debated on Friday 15 December 1922

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether the Ministry have made free grants to public authorities from the motor tax, for the purpose of obtaining quarrying plant and opening and developing quarries; whether it is contrary to Government policy that municipally-owned quarries should be established, and thus subsidised by the Government at a time when privately-owned quarries are working on short time, and in some cases being closed down altogether through lack of orders; and whether, in all such municipally-owned quarries, the standard rates of pay and industrial council conditions are observed?

In a few cases grants have been made from the Road Fund to local authorities for the development of their own quarries for the supply of roadstone. In every case the local authority concerned has been required to satisfy the Department that such development will reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of highway maintenance. These are the considerations which govern the Department's policy in the matter. I have no reason to suppose that the standard rates of pay and conditions are not being observed.