Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans have been made to purify the estuary of the River Don at Aberdeen and to apply to it the new method of oxidation designed by the Shirley Institute, Didsbury, for cleaning up rivers which have been polluted by industrial waste from mills and factories.
Dr. Dickson Mabon
These matters are the responsibility of the Dee and Don River Purification Board.
Surely the Minister has some power with regard to this river, which is not in my constituency alone; it borders another constituency. The new method of oxidation mentioned in my Question has been tried with great success elsewhere. To use it in the River Don would result in great benefit to trade, industry, commerce and to employment in Aberdeen city and county.
I quite accept what my hon. and learned Friend says in this regard. I would strongly suggest that if he contacts the Board itself he will obtain a thorough explanation of all its plans, both in this regard and in others. I have a lengthy submission here, but I do not wish to ascribe it to the OFFICIAL REPORT at this stage and weary the House with it.
Does the Under-Secretary of State not agree that this is a very complicated matter involving several local authorities, besides the river board, which I mentioned to him in detail at the beginning of last Session, in Committee? With a view to bringing an end to the procrastination between the Ministry and the local authorities, will he now—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]— accept my invitation to visit the area for himself and see the extent of the nuisance—and smell the nuisance with his own nose?
Order. The hon. Gentleman's supplementary questions must be shorter.