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Caura Dam

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made with the construction of the Caura Dam in Trinidad; how much work still remains to be done; when it will be completed; and what is the cost to date.

There has been no progress since 1948 when, as my right hon. Friend explained on the 29th April, 1953, the dam was placed on care and maintenance. The completion of the dam, which it is estimated will cost about £1½ million and take about four years, is included in the Colony's development proposals for the period 1956–60. The cost so far has been about £600,000.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with all the delay that has taken place in the construction of this dam and, in view of the economic advantages which would derive from its completion, will he ask his right hon. Friend to have another look at the matter to see whether the work can be speeded up?

I am very well aware of the importance of completing the dam. It was at one time hoped to complete it in the Colony's five-year economic programme ending in 1955, but owing to the urgent need for water it has been decided to concentrate on other schemes giving a quicker return for the money expended, and it is in the programme for the period 1956–60.

But surely the Minister recognises that the completion of this and other schemes in this territory would do far more to satisfy the inhabitants than the actions recently taken by his right hon. Friend in British Honduras and British Guiana?

I do not know what the reference is to British Honduras. In all these territories we must put first things first.