asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he can now say if new shields will be required for the Whiteinch Linthouse Tunnel; and how many.
No, Sir. We are awaiting a reply from the Dartford Tunnel Committee as to the possibility of transferring one shield, and up-to-date itemised estimates from Glasgow Corporation.
How long is the Minister going to play about with this issue which is of such urgency to the city of Glasgow? It is six months since he promised that the Whiteinch Linthouse Tunnel would go ahead, and he knows perfectly well that the tunnel cannot be constructed without the shields. I am asking when are we going to get the shields. Has he not been in touch with Dartford for more than six months, and surely he has reached some conclusion by this?
I thought the hon. Gentleman was more familiar with this subject than he appears to be.
I thought the hon. Gentleman was more familiar with it.
We asked the Glasgow Corporation for an itemised estimate of the cost, and we are still waiting for that.
In view of the vital necessity for completing the Dartford—Purfleet tunnel at the earliest possible moment, will the Minister give an undertaking that no shield will be withdrawn from Dart-ford that is needed for the tunnel?
It is because the shields are the property of the Dartford Tunnel Committee that my right hon. Friend has no power to take them away. What we are trying to ascertain is whether the Committee will surrender the shields voluntarily, having no use for them themselves.
Would it not be more appropriate if these shields were used at Shields and then we could get on with the Tyne Tunnel?