§ Major HILLS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been directed to the preliminary Report of the Committee investigating the poisonous effects of road tar, which proves that tar is highly injurious to fish, as it has been proved injurious to watercress beds; whether he is aware that the road from Hungerford to Marlborough, which runs alongside the River Kennett, with its valuable fisheries and watercress beds, is now being tarred; that a single shower of rain may do damage which it will take years to replace; and whether he will take steps to compel the road authority concerned either to stop the tarring or to use bitumen, which is known to be harmless?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
I am aware of the Report and of its conclusions. The effect of the Report has been circulated by my Noble Friend the Minister of Transport to all Highway Authorities, who are thus clearly warned as to the damage which may result co fisheries from road tarring. As regards the second part of the question, I am informed that parts of the road in question have been or are about to be sprayed with tar, and that tar spraying has been carried out on this road for the last eight. or nine years. With regard to the last part of the question, neither I, nor, so far as I am aware, any other Minister has any power to compel Highway Authorities to adopt any particular form of road surfacing.