HC Deb 01 July 1913 vol 54 cc1655-6
52 Mr. MUNRO

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the provisions contained in the draft of the Dunfermline District Water Order, 1913, as passed recently in Edinburgh by a Parliamentary Committee, and in particular to the facts that, while the total estimated water supply obtainable under the Order by the district committee of the county council is 5,250,000 gallons per diem, of this total the district committee has come under obligations to sell or offer to other communities and private persons 4,570,000 gallons, leaving only an expected balance of 680,000 gallons for the certain supply of a district in which it is well known that an early and substantial increase of population is certain; whether he has sanctioned the precedent thus to be established, whereby a water supply provided by Parliament for a particular community may be sold in advance for the preferable use of outside communities or persons, with all the risks attendant on such a venture; and whether he proposes to take any steps in the matter?


I have had under consideration the provisions of this draft Order. The figures quoted by the hon. Member are erroneous in respect that the expected balance available for the supply of the district of the promoters should be 1,405,000 gallons per diem instead of 680,000 gallons, as stated in the question, or more than double. The Order was inquired into by Commissioners in accordance with the provisions of the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1899, and after full consideration of the details of the scheme and hearing all parties interested the Commissioners recommended me to issue the Order, with certain modifications, which I propose to do without delay. I would remind my hon. Friend that Section 9 of the Procedure Act contains provisions affording parties who may be dissatisfied with Commissioners' ruling a further opportunity of raising the matter in Parliament, before whom the Order will be laid in a Confirming Bill in due course.


Assuming the corrected figures which the right hon. Gentleman has quoted, is it not the case that the Scottish Office has the right and exercises the right of revising these draft Orders if it sees fit, and does the right hon. Gentleman propose to do so in this instance?


As this has been a matter of inquiry by Commissioners, I do not feel justified in revising it.