HC Deb 08 February 1945 vol 407 cc2216-7
35. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the excessive consumption of gas and electricity between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m. is largely due to the continuance of summer time in midwinter; and whether he will arrange for reversion to Greenwich mean-time from October to February, inclusive.

Mr. H. Morrison

I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power that any increased consumption of gas and electricity in the morning is more than offset by the saving in the evening; but, as I pointed out last week in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carnarvon (Sir G. Owen), the overriding consideration in favour of this special wartime arrangement has been that it has facilitated the work of supplying the needs of the Armed Forces.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in Summer Time, between the hours of 8 and 9 a.m., it is dark and that, between those hours, people have to cook, dress, go to business, and children have to be got ready and sent to school; and is it not absolutely certain, especially during hard weather such as we have had recently, that an undue amount of fuel must be consumed?

Mr. Morrison

It is true that there was darkness during part of that period, but it is not true of any part of the period at the moment. The fact is that, on fuel consumption, the evenings balance the mornings, and there is nothing in it from the point of view of fuel economy.

Mr. Snadden

Is the Minister aware that the imposition of this measure imposes a great hardship on the production of foodstuffs, and especially on milk production; and will he give an undertaking that the iniquitous infliction of Double Summer Time is not going to be reimposed?

Mr. Morrison

That is really another point, but that aspect of the matter will be fairly considered.

Sir C. MacAndrew

As regards fuel consumption in the morning and evening, is it not the case that lights are left on in the mornings longer than is actually necessary, whereas in the evening they are not turned on until actually required?

Mr. Morrison

I have taken advice from the Ministry of Fuel and Power. Departmentally, they are the experts, and they tell me that my presentation of the facts is correct.

Colonel Greenwell

Is not the main question that the peak load occurs in the morning?

Mr. Morrison

There is a peak load in the evening.