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Rivers (Drainage Works)

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 28 October 1954

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asked the Minister of Agriculture in view of the frequency of floods in various parts of the country, if he will hold an inquiry into the silting up of our rivers, small and large, making them inadequate to carry away the surplus water; and how far this is contributing to the flooding of low-lying land.

My right hon. Friend does not accept that our rivers generally are silting up, or that there is any need for an inquiry on the lines suggested by the hon. Member. River boards, and the Thames and Lee Conservancies, have a general responsibility for supervising drainage works in their areas and have powers to do works on channels that are defined as the main river. The works undertaken by them and the catchment boards which preceded them have resulted in a considerable improvement in the condition of our rivers over the last 20 years.