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The Severn Barrage Scheme*

Nature volume 131, pages 449451 (01 April 1933) | Download Citation



THE long awaited report on the practicability of the proposal for the establishment of a great hydro-electric power generating installation near the mouth of the Severn, to be actuated by the tidal waters of the estuary in conjunction with an impounding dam, generally known as the Severn Barrage Scheme, has, at last, appeared. Interest in the matter may be expected to revive with the publication of the report and especially when the Cabinet pronounces its decision thereon, but much of the keen attention which was excited by the original promulgation of the project has died down during recent years. It was put forward in 1920, in unusually glowing terms, by the Ministry of Transport, and advocated as a means of opening up a “vista little short of a revolution in the industrial life of the West and Midlands of England” and of bringing “within the reach of all classes of the community the blessings of light, purity power”. In political and labour circles, with an enthusiasm, which neglected, perhaps, to take into account the limitations and delays inherent in the realisation of constructional undertakings of great magnitude, it was hailed as a heaven-sent inspiration for the immediate absorption of a large bulk of unemployed labour. These highly coloured expectations have given place to a more sober and reflective outlook.

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