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River Severn (Navigation Plans)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress has been made, since the conference at Gloucester last summer called by the county N.F.U., in the examination by his Department of plans to improve the navigation of the Severn between Gloucestershire and Worcestershire prepared by the Severn Commission.

My Department is in close touch with the Ministry of Transport, the River Severn Catchment Board and the Severn Commission to ensure that agricultural interests are safeguarded in any scheme which may be adopted to provide improved navigation on the river.

Will the Minister recollect that he gave an approximately similar reply to representations made 12 months ago, and will he answer the part of the Question which asks what progress has been made?

I am afraid I can only say that the representatives of my Department have been in consultation with both the Catchment Board and the Ministry of Transport to see what scheme or schemes can be undertaken to relieve that particular area. As to progress, I am afraid I can report very little at present.

Is it not a fact that a decision on the matter of the Severn navigation is not likely to be taken for a considerable time and, meanwhile, the Severn bank erosion is going on pretty rapidly? Cannot some urgent measures be taken in the meantime?

A decision by the Ministry of Transport or the proposed British Transport Commission on the proposals made by the Severn Commission, must be taken before the River Severn Catchment Board can determine finally what step should be taken to improve certain stretches of the river.