HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc1879-80
8. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that the Grampian Electricity Supply Company are unable to proceed with their plans for the provision of a supply of electricity at Muchalls, Kincardineshire, where it is urgently needed for milk production, heating and lighting purposes, owing to their inability to obtain the necessary licences for timber, despite the fact that the construction of the distribution network is scheduled under the Scottish Highlands Electricity Order, 1938; and if he will authorise the issue of the licences required forthwith.

Mr. Gaitskell

There is an acute shortage of wooden poles for the overhead transmission of electricity, and the issue of licences is accordingly limited to certain priority categories. These categories include food production, but the application in question is almost entirely for general domestic purposes, and the requirement for milk production, to which the hon. Member refers, is negligible. I am very sorry, therefore, that I am unable at the present time to issue a licence in this case.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Can the Minister hold out any hope that this application—it has been outstanding since 1938, the houses are all wired and ready for the supply and it involves only two miles of line—will be carried out soon?

Mr. Gaitskell

I would not wish to hold out any hope so long as the shortage of poles is so acute. In this case many poles will be required.