§ MR. BELLAIRS
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that there is practically no gain in time over the open-sea route in passing a large fleet through the proposed Forth to Clyde ship canal owing to the delays of about half an hour at each lock, the slow speed of six knots at which ships can proceed in the dredged section of the canal, and the time required to reassemble at the other end and proceed to destination; and whether, in view of this fact, he will allow the Royal Coimmission on Canals and Waterways to report with as little delay as possible on 1091 measures beneficial to the country without encumbering it with the suggested inquiry into strategical questions connected with the projected Forth to Clyde ship canal, the most favourable estimate as to the cost of which is £17,000,000.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE,) Carnarvon Boroughs
I cannot express any opinion as to the suggestions of fact contained in the Question. The Royal Commission will no doubt consider the commercial aspects of this, as of other waterways, but strategical questions do not appear to fall within the scope of their reference.