Skip to main content

Smoke Pollution (Chalk Farm)

Volume 529: debated on Wednesday 7 July 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation why he has refused to receive a deputation from St. Pancras Borough Council, including the hon. Members for Holborn and St. Pancras, South, and for St. Pancras, North, to discuss the question of authorisation of additional capital required by the British Transport Commission to deal with smoke pollution at Chalk Farm.

I am sorry about conditions at Chalk Farm. I know that the St. Pancras Public Health Committee have had a very full discussion of the problem with a senior railway officer and the British Transport Commission have promised to do all they can to reduce the smoke and grit. But what the council raised with me was the electrification of the whole railway system out of Euston. This is clearly a far wider question, and I do not think it would help for me to receive a deputation from them about this. But I would be very ready to meet the hon. Members concerned and discuss the problem with them.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it was arising out of a meeting with the British Railway representatives that the council were told that only major capital which the Minister could authorise would solve this intolerable nuisance at Chalk Farm, that a request for the deputation was then made, and will he not reconsider asking not only my hon. Friend and myself but representatives of the borough council as well to see him and so try to redeem his earlier discourtesy in this matter?

There is no discourtesy, but the question of the electrification of the whole of the former London, Midland and Scottish system is not one that can properly be discussed by the Minister with a local authority, however important. I am very ready to see the Members of Parliament concerned and explain the difficulties to them, also my constitutional position, and listen to what they have to say.