HC Deb 25 April 1944 vol 399 cc620-1
43. Mr. M. MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on progress made by the Scottish Hydro-Electric Board; and where the first schemes are to be undertaken.

Mr. Johnston

The development scheme of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board has, as the Hon. Member is aware, been approved by the Electricity Commissioners and confirmed by me. I understand that the Board's first constructional scheme, if approved by the Electricity Commissioners will be submitted to me for confirmation at an early date. Information will then be published as to the site of the projects covered by the scheme; and the scheme itself will be available for inspection at the Board's offices and at other convenient places and will be placed on sale.

44. Mr. J. J. Davidson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether contracts on work connected with the Scottish Hydro-Electric Power Scheme are being issued in the near future; and whether he has taken any specific steps to ensure that Scottish firms have an opportunity of tendering for such contracts.

Mr. Johnston

The placing of contracts by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board for constructional work will arise when their first constructional scheme—which I understand is likely to be submitted to me at an early date—has been confirmed. I am assured that the Board intend, so far as tendering may be possible, to give Scottish firms an opportunity to tender for such contracts.

Mr. Davidson

In view of the fact that this scheme will be projected at a very early date, will my right hon. Friend take definite steps to see that contracts are not handed out 400 miles away, when they could be carried out on Scottish territory, by Scottish organisations?

Mr. Johnston

Certainly; that is the point of my answer.

Mr. Boothby

Is the scheme of a substantial nature?

Mr. Johnston

I do not want to say anything about the scheme until it is published.

Mr. McKinlay

Will my right hon. Friend make it clear that firms having a brass plate in Edinburgh, are not necessarily Scottish firms?

Mr. Johnston

That may be so, but it does riot bar those and other firms from tendering.