I move amendment. No. 1:—
At the end of line 40, page 3, to insert the following words: "No natural watercourse or drain shall be deemed to be part of an embankment."
I cannot for the life of me understand why it is necessary to give the new meaning to the word "embankment" which is set out in the definition section. There the word "embankment" is said to mean "an artificial watercourse, drain, or embankment, or other work constructed for the protection of land from flooding, and includes all sluices, sluice gates, pumps, weirs, watercourses, and other works forming part of or essential to the effective operation of any such embankment or work". Why should a pump be called an embankment? That definition gives a very wide meaning indeed to the word "embankment". I have been prompted to put down the amendment because of the power that is being taken in Section 35 in respect of trust funds, to apportion them between other works and the embankment in the event of the embankment being taken over. If a trust fund has been built up for the maintenance of drains and embankments, it seems to me that the fund will not be apportioned at all because the drainage may be deemed to be part of the embankment, acording to the new meaning given to the word "embankment". I can understand that, where an artificial drain has been made to preserve an embankment, it might reasonably be deemed to be part of the embankment. Where, however, there was a natural watercourse before the embankment was made, and where there was a trust fund provided for its maintenance, I think we ought to attempt to make a distinction between an artificial drain that is part of an embankment and the old water-course.